• Lawyers for Tsarnaev continue to ask for removal of prison restrictions


    BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) -- Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev submitted another request to remove the restrictions that have been placed on him in prison.

    On Thursday, lawyers submitted a supplemental document asking to vacate the SAMS, or Special Administrative Measures placed on Tsarnaev.

    Although the U.S. Attorney's office filed a notice in December in U.S. District Court that it had modified the Special Administrative Measures, the defense argues that the remaining measures still "interfere with the defense in important ways."

    After a Nov. 12 hearing, the government modified these special measures, which were placed on Tsarnaev in August, at the request of U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz and the approval of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

    Under the revised measures, paralegals and a mental health counselor, in addition to his main lawyers, will be able to give out the content of Tsarnaev's communications to other "third parties," for "the sole purpose of preparing the defense."

    Tsarnaev is also allowed to meet with pre-cleared paralegals, a mental health counselor, and a mitigation specialist without an accompanying attorney.

    He has also now been permitted to meet with multiple "legal visitors" at a time.

    Yet even with these modifications, the defense stated that it is still "encountering obstacles" due to FBI monitoring and Federal Bureau of Prisons' screening of materials that Tsarnaev's lawyers "need to review with the defendant."

    These obstacles, the defense wrote, "thwart preparation of important parts of the defense case."

    Special Administrative Measures restrict access to the mail, the media, the telephone and visitors.

    "SAMs" are used in terrorism cases and other high-profile cases when authorities allege there is "substantial risk" that a defendant's communications or contacts with people "could result in death or serious bodily injury" to others. The special restrictions were placed on shoe bomb suspect Richard Reid, "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh and other terror suspects.

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