Boston Marathon bomber sues over his treatment in prison

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev files lawsuit over his treatment at a supermax prison.

Elad Benari ,

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has filed a lawsuit over his treatment at a supermax prison, CBS News Boston reports.

The hand-written complaint, originally filed in January, was amended March 5, according to the report. Among other things, Tsarnaev claims the defendants – which include BOP, the company that administers the prison and newly approved Attorney General Merrick Garland – are interfering with his ability to communicate with his family, placing a hold on his money and hurting his chances of avoiding a death sentence.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, carried out the Boston Marathon Bombing on April 15, 2013. Tamerlan died following a gunfight with police and being run over by his brother as he fled.

Police captured a bloodied and wounded Dzhokhar Tsarnaev hours later in the Boston suburb of Watertown, where he was hiding in a boat parked in a backyard.

Dzhokhar has confirmed that his older brother Tamerlan was behind the 2013 attack and that he “wanted to defend Islam from attack.”

Tsarnaev, Tsarnaev was convicted in April of 2015 on 30 charges, including conspiracy and use of a weapon of mass destruction.

He was sentenced to death over the bombing, but a federal appeals court later tossed the death sentence, finding that the judge who oversaw the case didn't sufficiently vet jurors for biases.

Tsarnaev says the defendants are violating his First Amendment rights and interfering with his chance to avoid the death penalty by not allowing him to send hobby crafts through the mail to his legal counsel, according to CBS News.

This constructive behavior, he claimed in the filing, could provide mitigating evidence as prosecutors seek to have the death penalty reinstated. He said the restrictions also interfere with the development of a relationship between him and his defending counsel.

Tsarnaev claims he has been not been permitted to send photographs to his family since 2019 and that due to the restrictions, “I am suffering psychological injury, emotional distress and destruction of my familial relationships.”

He also claimed he is allowed to have visits with his nieces and nephews but is not allowed to call or write to them, which he said is cruel and unusual punishment. He is allowed to speak to his parents and sisters by phone twice a month.

Tsarnaev said he has been in a restrictive unit of the prison since 2015 and has been denied having the restrictions relaxed.