Thirty-five-year-old Uzbek Saifullah Saipov, who killed eight people in New York in 2017 in the name of the Islamic State, was convicted on Monday 14 of life imprisonment, avoiding the death penalty that the Ministry of Justice demanded against him.
After several days of deliberations, the 12-person jury informed the Manhattan federal court that it had not reached a unanimous decision on the death penalty as required by law, according to prosecutors’ statements.
As a result, the defendant was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, the only other option the jury had.
It was not possible to carry out the death penalty now, after the US Department of Justice decided in 2021 to halt the execution of federal death sentences.
However, the ministry’s position in this case disappointed human rights groups, which considered it a denial of Joe Biden’s campaign’s commitment to abolishing the death penalty at the federal level.
On Halloween 2017, Saipov drove a pick-up truck along the Hudson River in southern Manhattan, killing eight people, including five Argentines and a Belgian woman.
The attack resulted in the deadliest outcome in New York after the attacks of September 11, 2001, and it took place more than a year after the Nice attack in southern France, when a 31-year-old Tunisian rammed his truck into a crowd watching the fireworks display on July 14, leaving 86 dead and more than 400 dead. injured.
Saipov did not speak about the facts during the trial, during which the relatives of the victims and the injured told their tragic story.
Alexander Lee, one of the prosecutors, said that the accused chose New York because he “knew there would be many people on the streets,” describing Saipov, who arrived in the United States in 2010 as having been preparing since 2016 to “become a soldier in the Islamic State.”
But David Patton, one of Saipov’s lawyers, stated that the latter did not seek to join the Islamic State after the crimes he committed, but rather he expected to die. He said the married father of three had been radicalized online.