Gerald Zerkin

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Gerald T. Zerkin (1950 – ) is a senior assistant federal public defender in Richmond, Va. He attended Brandeis University, where he received his Bachelor's degree in 1971, University of Virginia where he received his Master's degree in 1976, and Boston College, where he received his degree in Law, also in 1976.

Defending death row inmates

He began private practice in 1978, and began his work defending death row inmates in 1980, including Earl Washington. He has specialized in death penalty defense and civil rights. At their annual dinner in 1999, Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (VADP) awarded Zerkin, praising him as an "expert capital case litigator." In 2001, Zerkin joined the public defender's office.

Defending Zacarias Moussaoui

He has gained further notability for leading the defense, along with Edward B. McMahon Jr., of the trial of Al Qaeda member Zacarias Moussaoui. Associates have commented on Zerkin's "dedication and willingness to live away from home to work the Moussaoui case." (Forbes.com) Zerkin has argued strongly for a life imprisonment sentence for Moussaoui, declaring that the defendant wanted a death sentence so that he could be a shahid , despite statements from Moussaoui indicating that he would like to live and "fight"...
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