San Diego attorney joins defense team of Boston bombing suspect

BOSTON (AP) – The defense team representing the Boston Marathon
bombing suspect got a major boost Monday with the addition of Judy
Clarke, a San Diego lawyer who has managed to get life sentences instead
of the death penalty for several high-profile clients, including the
Unabomber and the gunman in the rampage that injured former Arizona Rep.
Gabrielle Giffords.

The appointment of Clarke, based in San Diego, Calif., was approved Monday by U.S. Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler.

Bowler denied, at least for now, a request from
Miriam Conrad, the public defender of 19-year-old suspect Dzhokhar
Tsarnaev, to appoint a second death penalty lawyer – David Bruck, a
professor at Washington and Lee University School of Law.

Tsarnaev has been charged with using a weapon of
mass destruction during the April 15 marathon. Three people were killed
and more than 260 injured when two bombs exploded near the finish line.

The suspect's lawyers could renew their motion to appoint another death penalty expert if he is indicted, the judge said.

Clarke's clients have included the Unabomber, Ted
Kaczynski; Susan Smith, who drowned her two children; Atlanta Olympics
bomber Eric Rudolph; and most recently Tucson, Ariz., shooter Jared
Loughner. All received life sentences instead of the death penalty.

Clarke has rarely spoken publicly about her work
and did not return a call seeking comment Monday. However, at a speech
Friday at a legal conference in Los Angeles, she talked about how she
had been “sucked into the black hole, the vortex” of death penalty cases
18 years ago when she represented Smith.

“I got a dose of understanding human behavior, and I
learned what the death penalty does to us,” she said. “I don't think
it's a secret that I oppose the death penalty.”

Bruck has directed Washington and Lee's death penalty defense clinic, the Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse, since 2004.

In other developments in the Boston case:

– FBI agents visited the Rhode Island home of the
in-laws of the suspect's brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and carried away
several bags. The brother was killed in a gun battle with police.

Katherine Russell, Tsarnaev's widow, has been
staying at the North Kingstown home and did not speak to reporters as
she left her attorneys' office in Providence later in the day. Attorney
Amato DeLuca says she's doing everything she can to assist with the
investigation.

– President Barack Obama and Russian President
Vladimir Putin discussed terrorism coordination Monday in the wake of
the Boston Marathon bombings. Obama expressed his “appreciation” for
Russia's close cooperation after the attack.

The suspected bombers are Russian natives who
immigrated to the Boston area. Russian authorities told U.S. officials
before the bombings they had concerns about the family, but only
revealed details of wiretapped conversations since the attack.

___

AP Special Correspondent Linda Deutsch in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

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