April 1, 2023

A cut up amongst jurors in the USA has resulted in no loss of life penalty for an Uzbekistan man accused of deliberately racing a truck alongside a well-liked New York Metropolis bike path, killing eight folks and maiming others.

The impasse means Sayfullo Saipov, a 35-year-old who lived in New Jersey, will get an automated sentence of life in jail with out the opportunity of parole for the October 2017 assault. A federal jury instructed the decide on Monday that they had been unable to succeed in the unanimous verdict required for a loss of life sentence.

The sentencing was the end result of a trial that featured emotional testimony from survivors of the assault and kinfolk of the 5 Argentinian vacationers, two Individuals and a Belgian girl. who had been killed,

The identical jury convicted Saipov in January of 28 expenses, together with homicide in assist of racketeering and supporting a terrorist group,

It returned final month for a penalty section to resolve whether or not he needs to be sentenced to loss of life or spend the remainder of his life at a most safety jail in Florence, Colorado.

Over a number of days, federal prosecutors argued for the harshest punishment. A few of Saipov’s kinfolk testified that they nonetheless beloved him and hoped he would finally notice the evil of his act.

Saipov’s accountability for the killings was by no means doubtful. His legal professionals conceded he steered his rental truck on a sunny day onto a crowded decrease Manhattan bike path alongside the Hudson River in a bid for martyrdom.

Prosecutors stated he sped up, attempting to kill as many individuals as he may. His plan to drive to the Brooklyn Bridge and kill much more folks was thwarted when he crashed into a college bus. He left the wrecked automobile shouting “God is nice” in Arabic, wielding paintball and pellet weapons, earlier than being shot by a police officer.

Prosecutors stated he smiled as he requested that an ISIL (ISIS) group flag be posted on the wall of his hospital room.

The sentencing listening to was one of many uncommon federal loss of life penalty circumstances to happen in New York, a state with out capital punishment. US legislation, nonetheless, would nonetheless enable an execution by federal authorities for distinctive crimes.

Whereas some US states ship prisoners to loss of life row with regularity, New York final executed a prisoner in 1963, and it successfully abolished the loss of life penalty in its state in 2007.

A day after the assault, then-President Donald Trump tweeted that Saipov “SHOULD GET DEATH PENALTY!”

Biden pledged throughout his marketing campaign to work towards abolishing federal capital punishment, and no federal executions have taken place since he took workplace.

US Lawyer Normal Merrick Garland imposed a moratorium on executions for federal crimes in 2021 however has allowed US prosecutors to proceed advocating for capital punishment in circumstances inherited from earlier administrations.

Throughout his trial, Saipov appeared moved by testimony from his father and sisters. In any other case, he sat quietly, his shoulders slumped, as he listened by headphones to the testimony of victims, together with a lady from Belgium who misplaced her legs and her husband, who wanted mind surgical procedure due to the assault.

A makeshift tribute of flowers honors the dead in a 2017 attack.  A woman is sitting close to the site, hugging her dog in her lap and burying its face in its fur.
A New York Metropolis resident hugs her canine within the aftermath of the 2017 bike path assault [File: Craig Ruttle/AP Photo]

Saipov turned down the prospect to testify at trial. However throughout his 2019 pretrial listening to, he lectured Decide Vernon S Broderick concerning the US authorized system, insisting that he couldn’t be judged for eight deaths when “hundreds and hundreds of Muslims are dying everywhere in the world”.

Throughout closing arguments within the penalty section on Tuesday, legal professionals made a remaining enchantment to jurors.

Assistant US Lawyer Amanda Houle known as for the loss of life penalty for Saipov’s “unremorseful slaughter of harmless civilians”.

Protection legal professional David Patton urged a life sentence, saying his shopper would then “die in jail in obscurity, not as a martyr, not as a hero to anybody”.

Saipov got here to the US legally from Uzbekistan in 2010 and lived in Ohio and Florida earlier than transferring to Paterson, New Jersey.

His loss of life penalty trial was the primary of its type in New York Metropolis in a decade.

In 2007 and once more in 2013, federal juries in Brooklyn sentenced to loss of life a person who killed two New York Metropolis police detectives, however each sentences had been reversed on enchantment earlier than a decide dominated the killer had an mental incapacity.

In 2001, a Manhattan federal jury rejected the loss of life penalty for 2 males convicted within the lethal bombings of two US embassies in Africa after their legal professionals argued in opposition to making the defendants into martyrs.

The final time an individual was executed for a federal crime in New York was in 1954.

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