BOSTON Oct 2 Lawyers for accused Boston
marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a judge on Wednesday to
lift sweeping restrictions on his ability to communicate from
prison, claiming the measures are hindering his defense and
violating his right to free speech.
The U.S. Department of Justice in August imposed special
limits on Tsarnaev barring him from speaking with other inmates
or the outside world except in specific circumstances directly
related to his defense, as a way to keep him from inciting or
triggering other attacks.
Tsarnaev's lawyers said in a motion filed in U.S. District
Court in Boston that they did not believe there was enough
evidence showing that his communications are dangerous, adding
that the restrictions - known as SAMs or Special Administrative
Measures - were "unnecessarily harsh and isolating."
"In the absence of a showing that there is a reasonable
necessity for particular SAMs that impose harsh conditions of
confinement, they are unlawful and should be vacated," according
to the motion.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother Tamerlan are believed to
have detonated two pressure cooker bombs at the finish line of
the Boston Marathon on April 15, killing three people and
injuring scores of others. Both were ethnic Chechens whom
prosecutors claim were inspired by al Qaeda.
Dzhokar Tsarnaev was arrested days later after a manhunt
through Boston and has been in prison awaiting trial. Tamerlan
was killed in a shootout with police during the chase.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's lawyers last week also asked for more
time to make their case that the 20-year-old should be spared
the possibility of execution if convicted of the attack.
Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to all charges.