Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev wants less prison restrictions according to his attorneys. They went to court on Wednesday and petitioned a judge to allow some restrictions placed on him in prison to be lifted, saying they were too severe, and have left him almost completely secluded and are weakening their capacity to defend him.
Tsarnaev’s lawyers stated in a court-filed motion that he is restricted to his cell except for visits from them and has “very limited access” to a small outside addition.
Tsarnaev is accused of building and planting bombs next to the finish line of the April 15 marathon. Three people were killed and over 260 were injured. Authorities say he and his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who were Chechens that came from Russia and immigrated to the United States as children, premeditated and carried out the terrorist attack to get revenge against the U.S. for being involved in Muslim countries.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed four days after the bombing during a shoot-out with police. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was discovered wounded and hiding inside a boat in a Watertown, MA backyard. Authorities expressed he had scratched out anti-American messages on the boat.
Tsarnaev’s lawyers say prosecutors have not presented any evidence that special restrictions are needed in Tsarnaev’s case. They also stated that these actions hinder Tsarnaev’s contact with any individuals who might be helping his defense and also limit communications and other undertakings between the defensive team.
In a memo which stated the cause for all the restraints, court prosecutors said Tsarnaev had repeated his promise to jihad and expressed hope that his actions would encourage others to participate in violent jihad events while he had been interviewed by the FBI after he was captured.
The prosecutors added in that same memo there was not any indication that Tsarnaev’s intents had changed since that time, which was incorporated in the defense motion.
Defense lawyers added that Tsarnaev had received “widespread notoriety” since the time of his arrest and has gotten almost 1,000 pieces of mail which he never asked for.
Tsarnaev’s defense say he had not responded to any of the letters, which they added was not “jihadist” in nature, but instead contained pieces of mail that were almost entirely made up of letters and cards from people who thought Tsarnaev was an innocent man and they wanted him to be remorseful and convert over to Christianity.
Tsarnaev’s lawyers argued that they were able to talk about the mail to Tsarnaev because of special measures that permited them to share information they obtain from the bombing suspect among themselves by phone or in person for the purpose of formulating his defense. Yet it still prohibited them from sharing that information by mail under any kind of circumstances for any sort of purpose.
They stated that it was totally impractical how they have to keep track of their defense plans the way they do. And the means by which they have gotten individual pieces of information from Mr. Tsarnaev is limited at best. They feel the Boston bombing suspect deserves to have less prison restrictions so they can give him a better defense.
Written by: Kimberly Ruble