March 18, 2014 2:15 PM EDT

Federal prosecutors want to prevent accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev from seeing autopsy photographs of the bombing’s victims, unless the photos are used at his trial.

Prosecutors said that allowing the man accused of setting off the explosives to see graphic photos of their lifeless bodies “would violate the victims’ rights to dignity and privacy and subject them to needless harm and suffering,” according to court documents filed on Monday.

The photos show the mutilated, semi-naked bodies of the victims. “He does not need to review photos that will not be used against him in order to prepare his case or exercise any of his constitutional rights,” prosecutors wrote. Restricting Tsarnaev’s access to the images would not hinder any of his constitutional rights, prosecutors said.

Tsarnaev, 20, is accused of orchestrating the April 15 Boston Marathon bombings that killed three people and injured 260 others. He and his brother Tamerlan, who was killed during the post-marathon manhunt, also allegedly killed an MIT police officer in Cambridge.

Read more: Boston Bombing: What it Was Like Photographing Suspect’s Arrest

Write to Francesca Trianni at

Read More From TIME

Related Stories