The man who killed three people using an explosive device at the 2013 Boston Marathon is suing the federal government, claiming he is being mistreated in prison because his hat was confiscated and he’s only allowed three showers a week.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was on death row until his death sentenced was overturned last July in an appeal, is suing the federal government for $250,000, alleging he is being mistreated in prison, the Associated Press reported. Tsarnaev filed a handwritten lawsuit on Monday calling his treatment at the prison where he is kept in Colorado “unlawful, unreasonable and discriminatory.”
Tsarnaev, now 26, specifically cited guards confiscating a white baseball hat and bandana, which he purchased at the prison commissary, and his limited showers per week, which he claims is resulting in “mental and physical decline.” He claimed the hat and bandana were taken “because, by wearing it, I was ‘disrespecting’ the FBI and the victims” who were killed as part of the bombing he carried out with his brother on April 15, 2013.
The hat Tsarnaev chose to wear was white, reminiscent of the hat he was photographed wearing while placing the bombs at the Boston Marathon. As the AP noted, law enforcement referred to him as “White Hat” during their investigation before learning his name.
The AP reported that the lawsuit was assigned to a judge, who immediately found it deficient because it lacked the $402 filing fee and a “certified copy of prisoner’s trust fund statement.”
The bombs set by Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan, went off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring more than 260 others. The attack prompted a massive manhunt that eventually identified the two brothers. When police approached them, they began shooting, and Tamerlan was killed. Dzhokhar fled in a nearby vehicle, running over his brother as he lay in the street. The younger Tsarnaev brother hid in a Massachusetts neighborhood for hours until a homeowner called police about suspicious noises coming from his boat, which was parked in his yard. Dzhokhar was discovered hiding in the boat and was taken into police custody.
He was convicted and sentenced to death, but that sentence was reduced to life in prison upon appeal, with a federal appeals court ruling that the jury for the trial had not been properly screened for potential biases.
The case sparked other lawsuits as well. The New York Post settled a lawsuit after it posted a picture of two men alleged to be the bombers. The two men were innocent, but their photos were spread as potential murderers. Conservative host Glenn Beck was also sued for defamation and slander after suggesting one of the victims was involved in the attack. The FBI was also sued by the family of a man – a friend of Tamerlan’s – who was killed during the investigation. The friend was killed after allegedly attacking an FBI agent during an interrogation.
In addition to the lawsuits, the case became a black eye for Rolling Stone Magazine when it featured Dzhokhar on its cover, appearing to glorify the bomber.