Tsarnaev legal team asks to add lawyer
Lawyers for accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are again seeking to have renowned death penalty lawyer David I. Bruck appointed to the defense team in the case.
Judy Clarke, another high-profile capital defense lawyer appointed to the Tsarnaev case, filed a motion to add Bruck to the team on Monday, noting that the Virginia-based lawyer has specialized in death penalty cases for more than three decades.
A judge appointed Clarke April 29 but denied a request to add Bruck, while leaving open the possibility of appointing him in the future, pending new developments, court records show.
Clarke said Tsarnaev now faces dozens of allegations for which he could be executed, while he faced only two capital offense charges in April.
“Counsel expect that the amount of discovery that this investigation will produce will be truly massive,” Clarke wrote.
“Thus even were this not a potentially capital case, the magnitude of the task confronting Mr. Tsarnaev’s attorneys would be daunting.”
Bruck could not be reached Monday, and a spokeswoman for US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz declined to comment.
Attorney General Eric Holder will have the final say on whether to seek the death penalty, and a spokesman said Monday that no timetable has been set for when he will decide.
Besides Clarke, three federal public defenders in Boston, including Miriam Conrad, the lead attorney in that office, now represent Tsarnaev.
The lawyers initially sought the appointments of Clarke and Bruck in April.
In Monday’s filing, Clarke cited prior federal cases in which two or three lawyers with death penalty experience were added to assist court-appointed defense attorneys.
She described Bruck as “one of the most experienced and well-regarded capital defense attorneys in the United States” and said he has argued seven capital cases before the US Supreme Court, prevailing in six of them.
His former clients include Zayd Hassan Abd al-Latif Masud al-Safarini, who received a life sentence for his role in the hijacking of a Pan Am jet in Pakistan in 1986, in which 22 people were killed.
Tsarnaev, 19, faced his alleged victims in federal court in Boston for the first time last Wednesday, pleading not guilty to a slew of charges in an indictment accusing him of carrying out the bombings, which killed three and injured more than 260, with his older brother, Tamerlan. Tamerlan, 26, died in a shootout with police.