A split jury means an Islamic terrorist who killed eight people and maimed many more on a bike path in New York City will avoid the death penalty.
Sayfullo Saipov, 35, is an Uzbekistan citizen who was living in New Jersey at the time of the October 2017 attack, during which he drove a rental truck down a crowded bike path to deliberately and indiscriminately kill and maim anyone that he could.
The attack killed five tourists from Argentina, two Americans, and a Belgian woman.
Click Orlando reports, “Prosecutors said he sped up, trying to kill as many people as he could, and his plan to drive to the Brooklyn Bridge and kill even more was thwarted when he crashed into a school bus. He left the wrecked vehicle shouting ‘God is great’ in Arabic, wielding paintball and pellet guns, before being shot by a police officer.
The report added, “Prosecutors said he smiled as he asked that an Islamic State group flag be posted on the wall of his hospital room.”
The same federal jury that was split on the death penalty convicted Saipov in January on 28 charges, including murder in aid of racketeering and supporting a terrorist organization.
After the attack, former President Donald Trump tweeted that Saipov “SHOULD GET DEATH PENALTY!”
“Brandon pledged during his campaign to work toward abolishing federal capital punishment, and no federal executions have taken place since he took office. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland imposed a moratorium on executions for federal crimes in 2021, but he has allowed U.S. prosecutors to continue advocating for capital punishment in cases inherited from previous administrations,” Click Orlando reports.
The report said that “during his trial, Saipov seemed moved by testimony from his father and sisters. Otherwise he sat quietly, shoulders slumped, as he listened through headphones to the testimony of victims, including a woman from Belgium who lost her legs, and her husband, who needed brain surgery because of the attack.”
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams issued a statement thanking the families of the dead and the survivors “for their patience and understanding as the legal process played out.”
Saipov will now serve life in prison without the possibility of parole.