Lawyer seeks clemency
for Comanchero Justin Clark after solitary
anguish in prison
June 03, 20148:31PM
A SENIOR Comanchero
being held in around the clock lockdown
should be granted mercy, despite his part in
a $3 million Mexican drug ring, his lawyer
Justin Clark, 41, has been
kept in solitary confinement for more than 13
months with as little as 14 minutes a day
outside his cell.
Most of that time he has had
no contact with other prisoners and there is no
natural light in his tiny cell.
His lawyer, Peter Morrissey
SC, told the County Court Clark’s inhumane
conditions in custody should be taken into
account when he was sentenced.
“This is very extreme what’s
happened to this person (and) we say clemency is
called for in this case,” Mr Morrissey said.
“There’s a clear human rights
“He is really being oppressed
in a genuine way.”
Mr Morrissey said all his
client could do was “watch the minutes crawl
He said medical experts had
witnessed a significant decline in Clark’s
mental and physical state, urging Chief Judge
Michael Rozenes, in sentencing his client, to
consider the additional hardship imposed on
Clark because of the permanent lockdown.
For legal reasons the
Herald Sun cannot disclose the circumstances
that led to Clark being put in solitary
Clark has pleaded guilty to
one count each of importing a marketable
quantity of a border-controlled drug, namely
cocaine and methylamphetamine.
He became involved in the
Mexican drug cartel after meeting a connection
at a business conference in Las Vegas.
The syndicate manufactured
cocaine and other drugs, and exported them from
Mexico using airline passengers.
The court heard the offending
happened between 2011 and 2012, in a desperate
attempt by Clark to raise funds to secure the
future of his waste management business.
He made payments of $330,000
for drugs that had a potential street value of
He was charged in 2012 after a
16-month investigation by a joint multi-agency
taskforce, including Victoria Police.
Mr Morrissey said when
released Clark had good prospects of
rehabilitation, had a successful business to
return to and a supportive girlfriend.