Friday, July 3, 2009

Cleveland Clark Sentenced to Death out of Atlanta has posted a fascinating video of the outbursts that may have helped the jury vote for the death penalty.

Convicted killer Cleveland Clark was sentenced to death Thursday, hours after he unleashed a tirade at the Fulton County Courthouse.

Earlier in the day, Clark, 52, slammed the defense table and screamed obscenities as prosecutor Kellie Hill made her closing arguments. Last week, the same jury convicted Clark of killing Sparkle Rai for $10,000 in a murder-for-hire scheme financed by Rai's father-in-law.

The ajc site has some more details.

Rai’s father-in-law, Chiman Rai, a native of India, wanted Rai dead because he opposed his son marrying an African-American woman. Sparkle, then 22, and Rajeeve “Ricky” Rai had been married a month when she was murdered.

Clark was the last of those implicated in Rai’s death.

Chiman Rai, 68, was sentenced in 2008 to life in prison without the possibility of parole for hiring Clark to kill Sparkle Rai.

What's your opinion? The news report explains that two other men — the links between Chiman Rai and Clark — each were sentenced to 10 months’ probation because they helped prosecutors bring cases against the father-in-law and Clark. Does the fact that these guys benefited from their testimony detract from its value? Certainly that's true in some cases, but I would think these go-betweens must have had information about the crime that made for solid convictions.

I feel that a cold-blooded hitman who commits murder for money is worse than other murderers. The others usually have some mitigating circumstances, but the hit man, I'm afraid he's on the top of the list for punishment. My only problem is the maximum punishment should be life in prison without the possibility of parole. We should start there and work down.

What do you think? If Clark had remained calm and acted remorseful, do you think the outcome would have been different for him? Or do you think his fate was sealed when the father-in-law who hired him was sentenced to life without parole?

Please leave a comment.


  1. even if he had acted calm and showed remorse he should still be put to death for his action. This world will do better without animal like Cleveland Clark. If he was a human then he would have known that 10 thousand dollars is too little for a human life. He could have worked 10 thousand dollars in 5 months or less if he had a brain, and that would have been a much less harder work than taking some young woman's life. SCUM! SCUM! WHO GAVE BIRTH TO CLEVELAND CLARK?????

  2. Francis, Thanks for your comment.

    It may sound trite, but two wrongs don't make a right.

    If it's wrong for him to kill, it's wrong for us (the government) to kill.

  3. Aside from the spiritual reasons, cases like this one is one of the problems I have with capital punishment. The hitman Cleveland Clark gets death, but the old bigot father-in-law who PLANNED THE WHOLE THING gets life without parole? If I were a supporter of capital punishment I would be outraged that they didn't give his old behind the death juice too.

    While I don't approve of Cleveland Clark's behavior in the court room, something (probably miniscule and pointless) does make me wonder. Nonetheless, this guy shouldn't have been let out of jail for whatever offenses he had before.

  4. Anonymous,

    I'm glad you don't support the death penalty. One of the reasons people give is that it's indiscriminate in its application. I oppose it on simple moral grounds. For me, it's wrong, period.

  5. I believe in Capital punishment. If I was a cold-hearted murderer proven with strong evidence & facts that I'm responsible of taken someone else's life not by self defense or the defense of other victim(s) life then I should be sentenced to death and not placed any longer than 5 years in a correctional facility waisting your hard earned tax dollars to care for me or should I be released to continue my murders which might be you, your family member, or friends.