Judy Clarke

Lawyer, Person

1952 –


Who is Judy Clarke?

Judy Clarke is an American criminal defense attorney who practices law in San Diego, California and has served as appointed counsel in many high-profile cases throughout the United States. Clarke has previously served as President of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. She also serves as a Professor of Practice at Washington and Lee University School of Law in Lexington, Virginia.

According to the Associated Press, "[s]he is one of the top lawyers in the country for defendants facing prominent death penalty cases, having represented clients such as 'Unabomber' Ted Kaczynski and Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph. She has a reputation for working out plea deals that spare defendants the death penalty, as was the case for Rudolph and Kaczynski." Clarke has also represented convicted terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui and child murderer Susan Smith, among others. However, contrary to claims made by the Associated Press, Clarke was not involved in the legal representation of terrorist Timothy McVeigh, the executed perpetrator of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. She has helped several high-profile defendants avoid capital punishment. She's considered a "master strategist in death penalty cases" and opposes capital punishment. Clarke returned to South Carolina the $82,944 fee approved by the trial judge for her defense of Susan Smith, so that the funds could be used to defend other indigent defendants charged with crimes.

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  • University of South Carolina
  • Furman University

on July 23, 2013


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