NYC bike lane killer Sayfullo Saipov escapes the death penalty

Sayfullo Saipov (right) was sentenced to life in prison for assaulting 8 people on a Manhattan bike lane

Sayfullo Saipov (right) was sentenced to life in prison for assaulting 8 people on a Manhattan bike lane (Image: AP/ REUTERS)

The man convicted of killing eight people on a New York City bike lane escaped the death penalty Monday after a jury said it could not reach a unanimous decision.

Sayfullo Saipov, 35, was found guilty earlier this year 2017 Halloween assassination in Lower Manhattan. He faced a total of 28 federal charges, including murder, attempted murder and material assistance to terrorism.

After the jury found him guilty on January 26, his trial moved to the penalty phase.

New York State abolished the death penalty in 1984, but Saipov was indicted by a federal grand jury. The death penalty is still legal at the federal level, but a jury must approve it by unanimous resolution.

FILE - This booking photo, provided by the St. Charles County Department of Corrections in St. Charles, Missouri, shows Sayfullo Saipov. A jury said Monday, March 13, 2023, it could not reach a unanimous decision on whether to hand down the death sentence on an Islamic extremist who killed eight people with an overspeeding truck on a popular New York City bike path. A unanimous verdict is required for a death sentence. (St. Charles County Department of Corrections/KMOV via AP, file)

Sayfullo Saipov is seen in a booking photo after his arrest in 2017 (Image: AP)

Had a jury approved the death penalty, he would have been the first person to be executed in New York since 1963. The last time a person was executed for a federal crime in New York was in 1954.

Just after 2 p.m. Monday afternoon, the jury delivered a note to District Judge Vernon Broderick telling him they could not reach a unanimous decision.

Prosecutors asked the jury to reconsider the death penalty for the convicted terrorist, arguing that he was “unrepentant” for the eight deaths in 2017.

Saipov killed the victims by ramming them with a rented U-Haul truck (Image: AP)
New Yorkers pray at a memorial to the eight people killed in Saipov’s 2017 attack (Image: AP)

Defense attorney David Patton urged the jury to send his client to jail to “die in the dark, not a martyr, not a hero to anyone.”

Hours later, Broderick accepted that verdict and sentenced Saipov to life in prison without parole.

Saipov is sent to ADX Florence, a supermax prison facility in Colorado that houses some of the country’s most notorious criminals, including “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski, Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Sinaloa cartel boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, and several Al -Qaeda members who helped plan the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

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Justin Scacco

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