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Constitutional Law

Judge Tosses Okla. Bombing Conspirator’s Suit Over Prison Food

Posted Aug 20, 2010 5:30 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A federal judge in Denver has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Oklahoma bombing conspirator Terry Nichols that contends his prison diet is cruel and unusual and a violation of his religious rights.

U.S. District Judge Christine Arguello ruled the food didn’t amount to cruel and unusual punishment, according to stories by NewsOK.com, the Associated Press and Denver Westword. The judge also said Nichols’ diet preferences were apparently motivated by health concerns rather than religious reasons.

Nichols’ suit against Colorado’s Supermax prison claimed his Christian religion requires foods to be consumed in a “whole unrefined state” and he needs a diet of raw vegetables, fruit and whole grains.

Westword quotes from Nichols’ handwritten complaint. It claims a sincere belief “that God created mankind to consume unrefined whole foods, with its natural insoluble fiber, etc., that works in a synergistic way to keep one's body (ie God's holy temple) in good health to ward off various diseases."

Related coverage:

ABA Journal: “It’s What’s for Dinner”

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