Tsarnaev lawyers argue against ‘severe restrictions’ in prison

Alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzokhar Tsarnaev hopes to lessen restrictions he faces in prison. (Credit: FBI/Reuters)
Alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzokhar Tsarnaev hopes to ease the restrictions of his incarceration. Credit: FBI/Reuters

Lawyers for accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were in federal court Tuesday morning to argue against “extraordinary and severe restrictions” placed on the alleged bomber while in jail.

Tsarnaev’s lawyers said in a motion filed last month that restrictions, called Special Administrative Measures, are “unlawful and unwarranted” and hinder Tsarnaev’s ability to have a proper defense.

“(The measures) make it difficult to prepare for trial if (defense laywers) can’t talk to their client,” said Suffolk University law school professor Rosanna Cavallaro. “It’s not that he wants a ‘comfortable situation,’ like a thicker mattress… They’re concerned they’re not going to get the materials that the government has that may be relevant.”

Among the restrictions at at the Devens facility, Tsarnaev’s lawyers cite is being barred from participating in group prayer services. He is also prohibited from communicating with people and can only have visits from his immediate family. He can only write one letter to one adult per week, his lawyers said.

Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan, are accused of placing two pressure cooker bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in April. The explosions killed three people and injured about 260 others.

He faces the possibility of the death penalty; his trial is expected to happen next autumn.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.


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