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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev transferred to Supermax prison

A courtroom sketch showed Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev seated as transit police Sergeant Richard "Dic" Donohue gave testimony. Jane Flavell Collins/REUTERS/REUTERS

Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been transferred to the country’s most strict and secure prison while he appeals his death sentence, according to the Bureau of Prisons’ online inmate tracking system.

Tsarnaev, who will turn 22 on Wednesday, had been held as recently as Thursday at the high-security penitentiary at Florence, Colo.

He was moved Friday to the administrative security prison at Florence, known as Supermax. The facility houses some of the nation’s most notorious convicts, including Zacarias Moussaoui, who helped plan the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, and Richard Reid, known as the Shoe Bomber.

A former warden of the facility once described it as a “clean version of hell.”


Inmates are held in lockdown for 23 hours a day in 7-by-12-foot concrete cells, where they receive all their meals on trays slid through holes in steel doors. They are limited to two 15-minute phone calls only with family members each month, their mail is screened, and they have little communication with the outside world.

Typically, inmates who are awaiting a federal death sentence are held in Terre Haute, Ind., which the Bureau of Prisons has designated as its facility for carrying out executions.

The bureau has said, however, that it will place each inmate in whatever facility it deems appropriate based on that inmate’s need and security requirements.

Milton J. Valencia can be reached at milton.valencia