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Judge Delays Decision On Tsarnaev’s Communication Restrictions

BOSTON (UPI) — A Federal judge postponed a decision Tuesday on relaxing communications restrictions for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

U.S. District Judge George O’Toole set Jan. 31 as the final deadline for deciding whether prosecutors can seek the death penalty for the 19-year-old former college student, the Cambridge Chronicle reported.

Tsarnaev, a member of a Muslim Chechen family that had lived in several Central Asian republics as well as in Russia, allegedly carried out the April 15 bombing with his brother, Tamerlan, 26. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a confrontation with police on April 19, and his brother was arrested hours later.

Three people were killed by the bombs at the Marathon finish line, and many more were injured. The brothers also allegedly killed a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer while trying to evade capture.

Tsarnaev’s lawyers argued that the “special administrative measures” imposed on his communications are unconstitutional and hamper his ability to put on a defense. Prosecutors say that Tsarnaev could inspire others to become terrorists.

Another issue is when to hold the trial. Defense lawyers said the prosecution suggestion of late 2014 is “completely unworkable” because the case is so complex.

O’Toole said a date would be set once a final decision has been made on the death penalty.

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