US

Reclusive lawyer who defended Unabomber, Tucson shooter opens up about death penalty cases

  • Judy Clarke, a defense lawyer whose high-profile clients include "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski, Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph, and Tucson shooter Jared Lee Loughner, speaks at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles Friday, April 26, 2013. Clarke’s mission is to save the lives of people she feels are mentally ill. She tries to negotiate life sentences for them and often succeeds. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

    Judy Clarke, a defense lawyer whose high-profile clients include "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski, Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph, and Tucson shooter Jared Lee Loughner, speaks at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles Friday, April 26, 2013. Clarke’s mission is to save the lives of people she feels are mentally ill. She tries to negotiate life sentences for them and often succeeds. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)  (The Associated Press)

  • Judy Clarke, a defense lawyer whose high-profile clients include "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski, Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph, and Tucson shooter Jared Lee Loughner, speaks at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles Friday, April 26, 2013. Clarke’s mission is to save the lives of people she feels are mentally ill. She tries to negotiate life sentences for them and often succeeds. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

    Judy Clarke, a defense lawyer whose high-profile clients include "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski, Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph, and Tucson shooter Jared Lee Loughner, speaks at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles Friday, April 26, 2013. Clarke’s mission is to save the lives of people she feels are mentally ill. She tries to negotiate life sentences for them and often succeeds. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)  (The Associated Press)

  • Judy Clarke, a defense lawyer whose high-profile clients include "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski, Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph, and Tucson shooter Jared Lee Loughner, speaks at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles Friday, April 26, 2013. Clarke’s mission is to save the lives of people she feels are mentally ill. She tries to negotiate life sentences for them and often succeeds. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

    Judy Clarke, a defense lawyer whose high-profile clients include "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski, Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph, and Tucson shooter Jared Lee Loughner, speaks at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles Friday, April 26, 2013. Clarke’s mission is to save the lives of people she feels are mentally ill. She tries to negotiate life sentences for them and often succeeds. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)  (The Associated Press)

One of the nation's top death penalty lawyers who rarely talks about her famous cases has addressed a Los Angeles legal conference.

Judy Clarke spoke to a gathering of lawyers, judges and law students Friday at Loyola Law School. She talked about her passion for defending some of the most despised defendants in America.

Clarke has represented Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski, Atlanta Olympics bomber Eric Rudolph and Jared Loughner, who shot up an Arizona shopping center gravely wounding congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

The San Diego-based attorney says her mission is to save the lives of people she feels are mentally ill. She tries to negotiate life sentences for them and often succeeds.

She says she believes that her clients, who have endured trauma and mental illness, deserve loyalty from their lawyer.