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Second W&L Law Prof Joins Boston Bombing Defense Team

The judge overseeing the case of the accused Boston Marathon bomber has approved the request by attorneys representing Dzhokhar TsarnaevĀ to add Washington and Lee law professor David Bruck to the defense team in the case.

Bruck joins fellow W&L law professor Judy Clarke and several members of the federal public defender’s office in Boston on the defense team.

In April of last year, Miriam Conrad, the chief federal public defender, had requested that both Clarke and Bruck, clinical professor of law at W&L and director of the Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse, be appointed to the team. The request to appoint Bruck was then denied “without prejudice” to renew it later. The order came last week after the federal defender had again requested that the judge appoint Bruck to assist with the defense.

Bruck joined W&L in 2004 after practicing criminal law in South Carolina for nearly thirty years, where he specialized in the defense of capital cases at the trial, appellate and post-conviction stages. Since then, he has directed the Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse, a clinical program at W&L Law that serves as a resource center for court-appointed defense counsel at the pretrial and trial stages of death penalty cases throughout Virginia.

This is not the first time that Bruck and Clarke, who attended law school together at the University of South Carolina, have worked together on a high profile death penalty case. They served as co-counsel for Susan Smith, who was convicted of drowning her two small children in South Carolina in 1995. Smith eventually received a life sentence.