Nichols' lawsuit over prison food dismissed by federal judge

A Colorado federal judge dismissed bombing conspirator Terry Nichols' lawsuit over his prison diet. Nichols claims the prison system's refusal to give him the diet he is requesting is a violation of his rights, but the judge disagreed.
BY BOB DOUCETTE Modified: August 14, 2010 at 12:22 am •  Published: August 13, 2010
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Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols' lawsuit over his prison food was dismissed by a Denver-based federal judge.

In a decision Thursday, U.S. District Judge Christine M. Arguello ruled Nichols' claims that his constitutional rights being violated by prison officials concerning his diet were invalid.

Nichols, 55, had claimed in legal filings that he needed a diet of raw vegetables, fruit and whole grains that wasn't typical of prison fare.

Nichols claims that he has a medical condition which requires such a diet, and contends his Christian belief "is that God created our foods to be consumed in their whole unrefined state."

By not being provided this diet, Nichols claimed, his constitutional rights were being violated.

Arguello disagreed, saying that Nichols hadn't proved his diet qualified as "cruel and unusual punishment," and also wrote that there wasn't any proof that the prison diet violated his Christian beliefs.

Nichols claims he has gone on three hunger strikes since February, doing so to force prison officials to begin to address his medical and religious needs.

He claims he lost 35 pounds during the last hunger strike, going down to 125 pounds.

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