Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s strict jail restrictions have been eased at the request of his attorneys. His defense team, led by Judy Clarke and Miriam Conrad, argued that the restrictions prevented them from building an effective defense. They further argued that the restrictions violated Tsarnaev’s civil rights.
The motion stated that Tsarnaev is kept “in near total isolation,” as he is prohibited from interacting with anyone other than his attorneys. His defense team argued that the restrictions prevent him from attending group prayer and counseling sessions.
Massachusetts US Attorney Carmen Ortiz requested the strict measures. He said the restrictions are a necessity, as Tsarnaev has displayed a “continued desire to incite others to engage in violent jihad.”
As reported by CNN, the restrictive measures are not unusual for inmates accused of high-profile crime — including terrorism. Authorities are most likely to impose the restrictions when “there is a substantial risk that a prisoner’s communications or contacts with persons could result in death or serious bodily injury.”
Despite previous objections, federal prosecutors have eased some of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s jail restrictions. The accused terrorist will now be allowed to meet with a mental health consultant, a mitigation specialist, and a paralegal. All three will be assisting Tsarnaev’s attorney’s with their defense strategy.
Tsarnaev is facing 30 federal charges, included four counts of murder. He is accused of working with his brother Tamerlan to set off two bombs at the April 15 Boston Marathon. The bombs, which were made using pressure cookers, exploded near the marathon’s finish line on Boylston Street. The blast injured more than 250 people and killed three.
The brothers were identified as suspects after the FBI released photos captured from video surveillance. Although Tamerlan was later killed while fleeing police, Dzhokhar was arrested and charged in the bombing.
Prosecutors contend the bombing was an act of terrorism, as the brothers were vocal in their criticism against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. South Coast Today reports that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev plead not guilty to all 30 federal charges.