Federal Public Defender Miriam Conrad Represents Tsarnaev


Defending an accused terrorist in court isn’t for everyone, says the Christian Science Monitor. The lawyers for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the Boston Marathon bombing, are experienced defenders who know what they are getting themselves into. Leading the team is the tenacious and detail-oriented Miriam Conrad, a federal public defender. One of those helping is Judy Clarke, who defended “Unibomber” Ted Kaczynski and Jared Loughner, who pleaded guilty to 19 charges in the 2011 mass shooting in Tucson. Most people might consider defending a terrorism suspect a thankless task, but those who have done it often thrive on the endeavor. “There is a certain personality that is drawn to this work,” says Tamar Birckhead, a former federal public defender in Boston who worked with Conrad and is now on the faculty of the University of North Carolina School of Law in Chapel Hill. “This is more than an intellectual exercise ensuring constitutional rights are protected. I get great satisfaction out of being the voice for that person.” Those who defend people like Tsarnaev try to forge a kind of bond with their clients so they will trust them with their lives.

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