ISIS-inspired terrorist who killed 8 says prosecutors are motivated by racism in seeking the death penalty for Halloween attack

News & Politics

An ISIS-inspired terrorist convicted of murdering 8 people in a 2017 truck attack is arguing that prosecutors are motivated by racism in seeking the death penalty for his sentencing.

A jury convicted Sayfullo Saipov of all 28 counts after deliberating for only six hours.

Saipov rented a truck from Home Depot in Passaic, New Jersey, and rammed bicyclists riding along a pedestrian path by the Hudson River. Eight people were killed and another 12 were injured in the attack.

He planned to drive through the Brooklyn Bridge, but he ended up crashing into a pole and a school bus and injuring a student and an adult. He then hopped out of the truck with fake guns before a police officer shot him.

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Saipov’s attorney argued that seeking the death penalty for his crimes could only be motivated by racism since prosecutors had not sought the death penalty for a deadly, race-motivated attack on Walmart in Texas.

“[G]iven the recent decision to accept Patrick Crusius’s guilty plea to life imprisonment despite his unrepentant and premeditated hate killing of 23 Latinos at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas — Crusius being a white, U.S.-born citizen — the Court should have significant concern that a driving force behind the death notice in this case is Mr. Saipov’s religion and national origin, in violation of the Fifth and Eighth Amendments,” said defense attorney David Patton.

The defense presented no case and admitted that he committed the crime, saying that he believed he was doing God’s will and that he still continued to believe so.

The Trump administration authorized the death penalty for Saipov, and the decision was re-authorized by the Biden administration. He is an immigrant from Uzbekistan who is in the U.S. on a green card.

Saipov’s truck attack is considered the deadliest terror attack in New York City since the September 11 attack.

Here’s a local news report about the guilty verdicts:

Sayfullo Saipov convicted in deadly 2017 attack on NYC bike

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