Prison officials ordered to turn over records on Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
The Lowell Sun and Robin Young/AP
A federal magistrate judge has approved a request by Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to have prison officials provide his lawyers with records related to his incarceration, including daily activity and suicide watch logs, psychology data files, photographs, commissary files, and any other records.
However, US Magistrate Judge Marianne B. Bowler rejected a defense request to have the US Bureau of Prisons keep that information from prosecutors without a court order or the defense lawyers’ consent.
The request had been made in a secret filing with the court. Bowler made the request public Monday after finding there was no reason to keep it confidential.
On Friday, the judge similarly made public a defense request for periodic photos of Tsarnaev, to show his condition and whether it improves, in what could be an attempt to show that the 19-year-old was in poor health when he reportedly gave statements claiming responsibility for the bombings, which killed three people and injured more than 260.
The request could be used as evidence in an effort to have the statement suppressed. Legal observers also said the photos could be used to argue against the death penalty.
Tsarnaev is being held at a federal prison medical facility in Fort Devens. He could face the death penalty for the bombings.
Tsarnaev, 19, is facing charges of using a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property resulting in death in the bombings. His brother, Tamerlan, 26, the other suspect in the bombings, was killed in a confrontation with police several days later when he was shot by police and run over by his younger brother.