Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Restrictions Too Harsh, Lawyers Say, Should Be Lifted

Thursday, 03 Oct 2013 06:12 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s attorneys filed a motion Wednesday that said their client is facing “unduly harsh” restrictions as he awaits trial and wants them lifted.

A 23-page motion filed in Boston’s U.S. District Court highlighted isolation, short periods outside, and bans from praying with others, NBC News said.

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“The restrictions on Mr. Tsarnaev leave him in nearly total isolation,” NBC quoted from the motion. “He is confined to his cell except for legal visits and very limited access to a small outdoor enclosure, on weekdays, weather permitting. The purported basis for these conditions lies in the crimes he is alleged to have committed prior to arrest, not any behavior during his confinement.”

Prosecutors defended the restrictions on Tsarnaev’s movements in an August memorandum, CNN said, saying they were necessary because of the accused’s “continued desire to incite others to engage in violent jihad.”

Tsarnaev attorneys Miriam Conrad and Judy Clarke said his treatment violates the First, Fifth and Sixth amendments. The behavior restrictions limit who he can talk to, as well as what types of materials he can access. The defense lawyers gave as an example that they weren’t allowed to show Tsarnaev family photos.

Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to 30 counts associated with the Boston bombing.

An internal memo from the U.S. Bureau of Prisons included in the defense motion gave more reasons for the harsh measures being used while Tsarnaev is in jail, accusing him of destroying evidence and convincing others to destroy evidence, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The Times quoted the memo, which said Tsarnaev told FBI agents he was “committed to jihad and expressed hope that his actions would inspire others to engage in violent jihad.”

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Related stories:

WSJ: Tamerlan Tsarnaev Influenced by Conspiracy Theories

Tsarnaev Raises Anger with a Smirk, Yawn and a Blown Kiss

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