Lawyers for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, charged with the Boston Marathon bombings, requested that the restrictions called “Special Administrative Measures” (SAMs) imposed on their client be lifted because they are too harsh. SAMs are utilized by authorities when they believe that the defendant could communicate with or contact people who could inflict “death or serious bodily injury” to others.
The attorneys claimed that Tsarnaev has been left nearly isolated because he is confined to his cell unless he is meeting with the attorneys, with an occasional visit to a small outdoor area, and the conditions he is living in are extremely harsh. They also claim that the restrictions are making their ability to defend him more difficult.
In their motion, Tsarnaev’s lawyers, who include federal public defenders Miriam Conrad, William Fick and Timothy Watkins, and San Diego attorney Judge Clarke, 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.
The lawyers stated, “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.” They continued by asserting that they can share information derived from Tsarnaev in person or over the phone, but not by mail, according to the SAMs restrictions, and that hinders their effort.
Tsarnaev has been charged with partnering with his brother Tamerlan to set the bombs that murdered four people: 8-year-old Martin Richard, 23 year-old lingzi Lu, 26-year-old Sean Collier, and 29-year-old Krystle Campbell. Roughly 60 more people were injured, many with limbs blown to pieces.
But Tsarnaev’s lawyers think he is being treated too harshly.