David Bruck has practiced criminal law since 1976, and since 1980 has specialized in the defense of capital cases at the trial, appellate and post-conviction stages. He has served as Richland County (Columbia, S.C.) Public Defender, as Chief Attorney of the South Carolina Office of Appellate Defense, and from 2004 to 2020 as Director of the Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse, a capital trial defense clinic and resource center at Washington & Lee Law School in Lexington, Virginia.
He has successfully argued six 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 has handled more than 70 capital appeals in state and lower federal courts. He has represented capital defendants at trial in more than 25 cases, including State v. Susan Smith, in which he and co-counsel Judy Clarke obtained a life sentence after their client was convicted of drowning her two small children. He is currently engaged in the defense of a detainee charged with capital offenses before a military commission at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
David has testified before U.S. Congressional committees on death penalty legislation on nine occasions, has presented CLE programs on capital and appellate litigation in more than 30 states and U.S. territories, and in 1996 received the John Minor Wisdom Public Service & Professionalism Award from the ABA Section of Litigation.
He has served as Federal Death Penalty Resource Counsel since the Project was launched in January 1992.