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New York City deadly car attack: Prosecutors will seek death penalty

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Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov
Sayfullo
Habibullaevic Saipov.


@DaveDMarko/Twitter


  • Federal prosecutors will seek the death penalty in the case
    of Sayfullo Saipov, an Uzbek man charged with killing eight
    people in New York City in 2017 after driving a truck into a
    crowded bike lane.
  • Saipov’s defense attorneys sought a plea deal that included
    the possibility of a life sentence in exchange for a guilty plea,
    NBC News reported.
  • The attorneys cited commentary from President Donald Trump,
    who tweeted after the attack that the suspect “should get death
    penalty,” as part of their reasoning.

A suspected terrorist who killed eight people in New York City
last year after driving a truck down a crowded bike lane on
Halloween, will face the death penalty at his upcoming trial,
federal prosecutors said on Friday. 


Sayfullo Saipov, a 30-year-old man from Uzbekistan,
was
charged last Noveember with carrying out the deadliest attack in
New York City since the terror attacks of September 11,
2001.  

Court papers say that after Saipov was arrested, he told the
authorities that he was inspired by ISIS videos, and that he used
a truck to make sure he could inflict as much harm as
possible. 

A government filing argued that the case against Saipov meets the
legal requirements for prosecutors to seek the death penalty,
including premeditation to commit acts of terror and the
“heinous, cruel, and depraved manner” in which the victims were
killed.

Lawyers for Saipov had pushed for a life sentence in exchange for
a guilty plea, citing in part President Donald Trump’s remarks
after the attacks. Trump
tweeted at the time
, “should get death penalty,” immediately
prompting concerns about whether Saipov could receive a fair
trial.

Sessions “works for President Trump and obviously wants to keep
his job,” Saipov’s attorneys argued.

“It defies reality, not to mention all appearances, to believe
that he could make a truly independent decision as to whether Mr.
Saipov should face the death penalty, knowing that a decision not
to seek death would inevitably trigger a ‘tweetstorm’ of ridicule
and scorn from the President and might well lead to the loss of
his job,” they said
according to NBC News
.

Prosecutors responded by saying Sessions’ decision wasn’t
political. The trial is scheduled for October 7, 2019.

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