David Ruhnke brings a wealth of death-penalty trial experience to the Project. As of the end of 2020, he had tried a total of 18 capital cases to a jury verdict, 6 in the state courts and 12 federally. The federal cases were tried in the EDNY (3), SDNY (3), NDNY (1), MDPA (3), DMA (1) and DPR (1). Those 18 cases resulted in one acquittal, 15 life verdicts and 2 sentences of death. The death verdicts were each later vacated on separate grounds of a Brady violation and juror misconduct. His most recent life verdict federal case, MDPA 2018, involved a federal inmate—with a prior murder conviction and a history of institutional violence—recorded on videotape stabbing, beating and stomping to death an unarmed federal correctional officer within a secure housing unit of a maximum-security federal penitentiary, USP/Caanan. David began his career serving 7 years as an Assistant Federal Public Defender in the District of New Jersey and has been in private practice since 1983 with his wife and frequent capital trial partner, Jean Barrett. He practices primarily in the federal courts in the New York City metropolitan area. He lectures frequently on the defense of capital cases.