Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have asked a judge to lift the ‘overly harsh’ restrictions placed on him in prison.
His lawyers submitted a plea on Wednesday arguing that the conditions have left him nearly totally isolated and are impairing their ability to defend him.
Tsarnaev’s lawyers said he has been confined to his cell except for visits from them and ‘very limited access’ to a small outdoor enclosure.
Tsarnaev, 20, is accused of building and planting bombs near the finish line of the April 15 marathon, killing three people and injuring more than 260.
Authorities say he and his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, ethnic Chechens from Russia who emigrated to the United States as children, planned and carried out the attack to retaliate against the United States for its involvement in Muslim countries. Tamerlan was killed four days after the marathon following a gun battle with police.
Dzhokhar was found wounded and hiding in a boat in a backyard in Watertown. Authorities said he had scrawled anti-American messages on the inside of the boat, including ‘The U.S. Government is killing our innocent civilians’ and ‘We Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt us all.’
In their motion, Tsarnaev’s lawyers said ‘Special Administrative Measures’ were imposed on their client beginning in August, at the request of U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz and the approval of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.