Dzhokhar Tsarnaev wants his restrictions in prison to be lifted. The suspected Boston Marathon bomber’s lawyers argued the case to a federal judge this week, saying the restrictions have unduly left the 20-year-old in harsh isolation.
The lawyers also argued that the special restrictions have prevented Tsarnaev from interacting with his family and his legal team. They added that US Attorney General Eric Holder had no basis to order the special administrative measures for the accused bomber in August.
In a court filing, Tsarnaev’s lawyers explained, “The government has not alleged that Mr. Tsarnaev has done or said anything since his arrest to commit violence, incite violence, or engage in communications that pose a security threat.”
The restrictions were imposed on Tsarnaev four months after his arrest, and his lawyers called the measures unwarranted. Federal prosecutors have yet to respond to Wednesday’s filing.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is facing 30 charges related to the April 15th bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Among the charges are ones related to terrorism, which carry the possibility of the death penalty. Holder is still considering whether to seek the death penalty against the alleged bomber.
Since his arrest in April, the Boston marathon bombing suspect has been confined to his cell except for visits from his lawyers. He has also had “very limited access” to a small outdoor fenced area. However, the special administrative measures weren’t imposed until four months after Tsarnaev’s incarceration.
“SAMs,” as they are called, are used in terrorism cases when authorities believe there is “substantial risk” that a defendant’s communications or contacts with people could end up injuring or killing another person. Such restrictions were placed on shoe bomb suspect Richard Reid, “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh, and others.
The government has not yet responded to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s lawyers’ filing requesting their client’s restrictions be removed.