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Shooting suspect's lawyer has saved many from death sentences

Judy Clarke, the capital-defense lawyer representing Jared Loughner in the Tucson shootings, is a well-known public defender who gets life sentences in cases that often begin with emotional calls for the death penalty.

Clarke, for example, has helped a number of infamous defendants avoid death sentences, including the Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski; the Atlanta Olympics bomber Eric Rudolph; and Susan Smith, the South Carolina woman who drowned her toddlers.

Her legal career spans more than 30 years and in recent years she has been in private law practice in San Diego with her husband, a law professor, Thomas Rice. She has continued to take public defender assignments and she teaches criminal law at Washington and Lee University School of law in Virginia.

Clarke didn't respond to requests for comment.

Beck shares e-mails, Limbaugh weighs in

Former Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska and Glenn Beck, the conservative radio host, e-mailed each other Sunday about the shooting.

Beck said Palin reached out to him to ask how he was doing, and they began corresponding. He read what he said were excerpts of their e-mail exchange on his radio show on Monday.

"Sarah, as you know, peace is always the answer," said Beck, reading from an e-mail he sent her. "I know you are feeling the same heat, if not much more on this. I want you to know you have my support. But please look into protection for your family. An attempt on you could bring the republic down."

He also read part of the e-mail Palin sent him: "I hate violence. I hate war. Our children will not have peace if politicos just capitalize on this to succeed in portraying anyone as inciting terror and violence. Thanks for all you do to send the message of truth and love and God as the answer."

Rush Limbaugh said Monday that seeking to connect the shooting with radio talk shows — which are dominated by conservatives — was a Democratic strategy.

"It is our right and our duty to criticize the people who have put the fate of our country in peril," Limbaugh said.

Suspect's family had blocked front porch

FBI agents investigating the shooting had trouble entering the suspect's family home Monday, the Arizona Republic reported.

Family members of Jared Loughner apparently had put 4-by-4 double-thick plywood that blocked access to the front porch of their north Tucson home. About 12:25 p.m., agents began banging on the blockade, yelling, "This is the FBI. Let us in."

Some agents went behind the house and got inside after talking to the family, the Republic said.

It wasn't clear why the Loughner family had put up the blockade, but there were reports of at least one media representative getting into the family's yard.

Times wires

Shooting suspect's lawyer has saved many from death sentences 01/11/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 7:44am]
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