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Famous death penalty lawyer joins Boston bomber’s defense team

Judy Clarke
Death Penalty expert and federal public defender Judy Clarke with her killer clients: Tucson shooter Jared Loughner, Olympic Park bomber Eric Rudolph, Unabomber Ted Kaczynski and baby killer Susan Smith.
Photo Credit: The Daily Beast

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The federal public defender famous for keeping stone-cold killers from getting the death penalty has joined Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s defense team.

San Diego criminal defense attorney Judy Clarke was asked to join Tsarnaev’s team Monday and U.S. Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler granted the request.

According to ABC 10 News in San Diego, Clarke is well known for her success in getting life in prison instead of the death penalty for the likes of Susan Smith, the S.C. mom who drowned her children, al-Qaida terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui, Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, and Tucson shooter Jared Laughner.

Clarke has been called a “master strategist in death penalty cases,” and a “criminal defense lawyers’ criminal defense lawyer,” according to a 2011 New York Times article about her.

Bowler denied Tsarnaev’s request for a second death penalty expert for his defense team, law professor David I. Bruck, but his attorneys may renew the motion once Tsarnaev is indicted, the ABC 10 News report said.

Tsarnaev’s motion to appoint death penalty experts to his defense team was obtained by the Wall Street Journal and read, in part:

Pending before this court is a motion filed by defendant Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (“the defendant”) to appoint two attorneys that are “‘learned in the law applicable to capital cases’” within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. § 3005 (“section 3005”). (Docket Entry # 10) (quoting section 3005). The defendant requests appointment of Judy Clarke, Esq. (“Attorney Clarke”), an attorney who practices in San Diego, California, and David I. Bruck, Esq. (“Attorney Bruck”), a clinical professor of law at Washington and Lee University School of Law and director of the school’s death penalty defense clinic.

Section 3005 states that:

Whoever is indicted for treason or other capital crime shall be allowed to make his full defense by counsel; and the court before which the defendant is to be tried, or a judge thereof, shall promptly, upon the defendant’s request, assign 2 such counsel, of whom at least 1 shall be learned in the law applicable to capital cases, and who shall have free access to the accused at all reasonable hours.

Watch the ABC 10 News report from San Diego here:


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