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Judy Clarke for the defense

Photo by Reed Saxon/AP

If he is convicted, the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect may be spared a trip to death row thanks to the addition of a criminal defense whiz—with a history of securing life sentences—to his legal team. Judy Clarke, a 1974 Furman graduate, joined Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s defense team on Monday. Clarke, however, doesn’t seek out big death-penalty cases; they find her. She was profiled on

A native of Asheville, N.C., Clarke graduated from Furman with a degree in psychology before earning her law degree at the University of South Carolina.  She has spent most of her career in California and the Pacific Northwest.