(NEW YORK) — Attorneys for surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a judge this week to lift restrictions imposed upon him in jail, arguing they “limit Mr. Tsarnaev’s interactions with individuals assisting defense counsel.”
Tsarnaev, who is charged with planting an explosives-filled backpack during the Boston Marathon, is being held at Federal Medical Center (FMC) Devens under Special Administrative Measures, or SAMS, that defense attorneys say are “unlawful and unwarranted.”
“The government has not alleged that Mr. Tsarnaev has done or said anything since his arrest to commit violence, incite violence or engage in communications that pose a security threat,” defense attorney William Fick wrote in his motion asking the court to vacate the SAMs.
A spokeswoman for Carmen Ortiz, the U.S. Attorney in Boston, declined to comment but previously, prosecutors and the FBI said the special restrictions were warranted because of “Tsarnaev’s proclivity for violence.”
The SAMs restrict Tsarnaev’s visitors, phone calls and mail. For example, “He can send no more than one letter, comprised of no more than three double-sided pages, to one adult recipient per week,” court records say. The provisions also keep him isolated and largely confined to a small cell.
Defense attorneys argued in court papers “there is insufficient factual basis to justify imposition of any SAMs” and they said the provisions “have a dramatic chilling effect on the defense teams’ ability to prepare a thorough and vigorous defense.”
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