FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) -- A judge refused to order better treatment for jailed sniper suspect John Lee Malvo on Friday despite defense complaints that the 17-year-old is under constant scrutiny and is being denied basic rights.
Malvo's lawyers had said his right to privacy was being infringed by his guards. Among other things, they said Malvo's mattress is too thin, he has been denied reading material, his cell lights glare 24 hours a day and he is being denied vegetarian meals.
"This is about the right to human dignity," lawyer Michael Arif told Juvenile Court Judge Charles Maxfield.
Malvo is being kept at the Fairfax County jail, an adult facility, despite efforts by his lawyers to put him in a juvenile jail. Arif said the sheriff's office has addressed some concerns -- for instance, Malvo now has a curtain in his cell so he can bathe and use the toilet in privacy.
But Maxfield refused to intervene on the other issues.
"To ask the judicial branch to interfere with the operations of the executive branch is difficult," Maxfield said. "You're going to have to present a lot more evidence" of inhumane treatment to force intervention.
Prosecutor Robert Horan Jr. called Arif's motion "slightly short of frivolous."
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