Marathon bomb suspect's defense team taking shape with some of the top names in the business

BOSTON (AP) - Who is defened the suspected Boston bomber?

One lawyer won acquittal for a Saudi man charged with carrying three firecracker-like devices on a plane, arguing he was a victim of hysteria over airport security after the Sept. 11 attacks. Another has managed to avert death sentences for some of the highest-profile criminals of our time, including the Unabomber and the gunman whose rampage injured former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Together, they are staring down what may become their biggest challenge so far: how to defend the man authorities say helped plan and carry out the Boston Marathon bombings, an attack that killed three people, injured more than 260 and virtually shut down the city during an intense manhunt.

The team that will be led by Miriam Conrad, the chief federal public defender for Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, got a major boost Monday with the addition of prominent San Diego lawyer and death penalty opponent Judy Clarke. Not that Conrad is considered any slouch.

"She is as tenacious as they come," said Joshua Levy, a former assistant U.S. attorney in Boston who has gone up against Conrad in federal court. "I always found her to be very smart and focused on whatever she perceived as chinks in the armor in the government's case. She would zone in on that."

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, is charged with using a weapon of mass destruction to kill, a crime that carries a potential death sentence. He lies in a prison hospital after being wounded in a shootout with police as he and his brother made a getaway attempt. Tamerlan Tsarneav, 26, was killed.

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