Is Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s Isolated Confinement Justified?

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
April 15 2014 11:51 AM

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s Highly Isolated Confinement May Not Be Entirely Justified

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Today is the anniversary of the Boston marathon bombing, and the New York Times has a piece on the isolated confinement of surviving suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who isn’t allowed to speak to or be around other inmates, use TV or radio, or correspond on non-legal matters with anyone besides his family—who he can call and write only once a week—despite little evidence that he could perpetrate further violence via interaction with outsiders.

[Tsarnaev is] effectively walled off from the outside world, imprisoned under so-called special administrative measures approved by the United States attorney general. The restrictions are reserved for inmates considered to pose the greatest threat to others — even though, privately, federal officials say there is little of substance to suggest that Mr. Tsarnaev, 20, and his brother Tamerlan were anything but isolated, homegrown terrorists.
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Tsarnaev has, however, gotten a good deal of incoming money and attention—the piece says at one point last May he had $1,000 donated by “supporters” in a bank account, and his lawyer says he’s gotten at least a thousand pieces of mail from Christian evangelists and people who believe he is innocent. A woman from Wisconsin who has written to him ten times tells the Times that “you can tell he didn’t do it” because “there is too much suspicious stuff going on in this case.”

Ben Mathis-Lilley edits the Slatest. Follow @Slatest on Twitter.

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