Published on: Monday, March 13, 2023

Sayfullo Saipov, a native of Uzbekistan who was convicted of killing eight people in a 2017 terrorist truck attack on a Hudson River bike path, will be sentenced to life in prison after members of a Manhattan federal jury deadlocked as they decided his fate (article available here).

Neither Saipov nor his attorneys contested his involvement in the crime.

The jurors told the judge on Monday that they could not agree on whether to impose the death penalty as the government had sought. Under the law, a unanimous verdict was required for capital punishment.

The verdict, which came on the jury’s second full day of deliberations, followed a two-month trial during which Mr. Saipov, 35, was convicted on Jan. 26 of all 28 counts he faced, including nine that carried a maximum sentence of death.

The trial was the first federal death penalty trial during the administration of President Biden, who had campaigned against capital punishment. It was also a rare capital case in New York, where executions are even rarer. The last state execution was in 1963; the last federal executions were in the early 1950s.

A day after the attack, then-President Donald Trump tweeted that Saipov “SHOULD GET DEATH PENALTY!” "In the end, Saipov's actions have highlighted one of the pillars of the rule of law in this country: the right to a full and fair public trial," Damian Williams, the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, said in a statement after the verdict.