Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is suing the federal government for $250,000 over his treatment at the supermax prison in Colorado dubbed the ‘Alcatraz of the Rockies’ – because officials took away his baseball cap.
In his eight-page, handwritten lawsuit that was filed in federal court on Monday, the convicted terrorist decries the confiscation of his white cap and bandanna, after guards allegedly deemed them disrespectful to victims.
Tsarnaev infamously wore a white Polo hat while standing on the sidelines of the Boston Marathon in April 2013 before he carried out the deadly pressure-cooker bombings with his late brother, Tamerlan.
Tsarnaev alleges in his complaint that his treatment at the hands of ‘unlawful, unreasonable and discriminatory’ prison staff is contributing to his mental and physical decline.
The 27-year-old also complains that he is only allowed to take three showers a week at the Federal Correctional Complex Florence.
Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is suing the federal government over his ‘disturbing’ treatment at the hands of staff at Federal Correctional Complex Florence
Tsarnaev is serving multiple life sentence at the Colorado supermax prison, dubbed the ‘Alcatraz of the Rockies’
Although the lawsuit has already been added to the federal court system, a judge said the filing was deficient because it lacked proper documentation and a filing fee, reported Boston Herald.
According to the complaint, the baseball cap and bandanna that Tsarnaev had purchased from the prison commissary were taken away by corrections officers who deemed the items disrespectful to the FBI and the victims of the attacks.
‘There is no proof and no evidence to support (the) false accusation,’ the inmate writes in the filing.
During Tsarnaev’s sentencing, prosecutors entered into evidence the white Polo cap that the defendant was photographed wearing backward while standing along the marathon route on the day of the bombings.
Tsarnaev’s lawyers acknowledged at the beginning of his trial that he and his older brother set off the two bombs at the marathon finish line in Boston on April 15, 2013, killing three people and wounding more than 260 others. But they argued that Dzhokar is less culpable than his brother, who they said was the mastermind behind the attack.
In his lawsuit, Tsarnaev complaints that his white baseball cap and bandanna had been confiscated by prison staff for being disrespectful. The 26-year-old infamously wore a white Polo hat on the day of the bombings in 2013 (circled)
The pressure-cooker bombs that Tsarnaev and his brother set off along the route of the Boston Marathon killed three people and injured more than 260 others
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed in a shootout with police after the terrorist attack
Tamerlan died following a gunfight with police and being run over by his brother as he fled. Police captured a bloodied and wounded Dzhokhar hours later in the Boston suburb of Watertown, where he was hiding in a boat parked in a backyard.
Tsarnaev was convicted of all 30 charges against him, including conspiracy and use of a weapon of mass destruction, and sentenced to death, but his death penalty was thrown out on appeal last July after a three-judge panel concluded that the judge who oversaw the 2015 trial did not adequately question potential jurors about what they had read or heard about the highly publicized case.
The court also said the judge erred in refusing to let the defense tell jurors about evidence tying Tamerlan to the killings of three people in the Boston suburb of Waltham in 2011.
In October, the US Justice Department asked the US Supreme Court to review Tsarnaev’s case, calling it ‘one of the most important terrorism prosecutions in our nation’s history.’
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev leans over in a boat at the time of his capture by law enforcement authorities in Watertown, Massachusetts, on April 19, 2013
Federal prosecutors argued in their petition that the 1st US Circuit Court of Appeals was wrong when it ruled Tsarnaev deserves a new trial to decide whether he should be executed.
If the justices refuse to hear the case this term, which ends in June, prosecutors could go forward with another trial or drop their pursuit for capital punishment and agree to life in prison.
Then-Attorney General William Barr told The Associated Press in August that they planned to take the case to the high court and ‘continue to pursue the death penalty.’
‘We will do whatever’s necessary,’ Barr said.