Clinical Professor of Law David I. Bruck has directed Washington & Lee’s death
penalty defense clinic, the Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse, since 2004. Prior to
coming to W&L, Bruck practiced criminal law in South Carolina for 28 years, and
specialized in the defense of capital cases at the trial, appellate and post-conviction
stages. Over the course of his career, he has served as Richland County (Columbia, S.C.)
Public Defender, as Chief Attorney of the South Carolina Office of Appellate Defense, and
since 1992 as Federal Death Penalty Resource Counsel to the federal defender system

Bruck has argued seven death penalty cases in the United States Supreme Court, including
Skipper v. South Carolina, 476 U.S. 1 (1986), and Simmons v. South Carolina, 512 U.S. 154
(1994), and over 70 capital appeals in state and lower federal courts. He has represented
capital defendants at trial in more than 20 cases, including State v. Susan Smith (1995),
in which he and co-counsel Judy Clarke obtained a life sentence after their client was
convicted of drowning her two small children. 



A Rarefied Kind of Dread, Journal of Appellate Practice & Process (2003)


A Tribute to William S. Geimer (with Meredith S. Palmer, Scott E. Sundby, Kevin M. McNally, Roger D. Groot, Liz Murtagh, and Ross Haine), Washington and Lee Law Review (2001)

Contributions to Books


Simmons v. South Carolina (1994), Dealth Penalty Stories (2009)

Popular Press

Habeas Corpse: The Right Appeal Under Fire, The New Republic (1991)

Executing Teen Killers Again, Washington Post (1985)

The Death Penalty: An Exchange, The New Republic (1985)