Man Convicted Of NYC Bike Path Attack Formally Sentenced To Life In Prison Without Parole


A U.S district judge formally sentenced Sayfullo Saipov to life in prison without parole Wednesday, after a jury failed to reach a unanimous decision on whether he should be sentenced to death for a 2017 terrorist attack in which Saipov drove a truck into cyclists and pedestrians in Manhattan, killing eight people and injuring dozens more.

Key Facts

Judge Vernon Broderick sentenced Saipov to eight consecutive life sentences plus 260 years on murder, attempted murder and assault charges, New York Southern District Court spokesperson Joseph Pecorino told Forbes.

Saipov also faces two additional life sentences that will be served concurrently for supporting a terrorist organization and violence involving a motor vehicle.

Saipov, a 35-year-old Uzbekistan resident and member of the Islamic State (or ISIS), is expected to serve his sentence in a federal Supermax facility in Colorado, spending at least 22 hours of his day in solitary confinement, Reuters reported.

The night before the sentencing, survivors and families of the victims returned to the scene of the terrorist attack wearing matching t-shirts and placing flowers along the Manhattan bike path, CBS New York reported.

Key Background

On October 31, 2017, Saipov drove a rented U-Haul into a crowd of people on Manhattan’s Hudson River bike path, killing eight people and injuring dozens of others. Saipov was convicted in January on eight counts of first-degree murder. He was also charged with attempted murder, assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering, violence and destruction of a motor vehicle resulting in death and providing material support to ISIS. Sapiov pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges brought against him. Jurors hearing the case could not reach a unanimous decision in March on whether Saipov should be sentenced to death, which is required for capital punishment under federal law, so a U.S. district judge took over sentencing.

Surprising Fact

The case marked the first federal sentencing trial for the death penalty since President Joe Biden took office. Biden has repeatedly campaigned against the death penalty, pledging during his 2020 campaign to “work to pass legislation to eliminate the death penalty at the federal level, and incentivize states to follow the federal government’s example.” Attorney General Merrick Garland began ordering a moratorium on federal executions in 2021 following up on Biden’s campaign promise and reversing a decision from former President Donald Trump to resume them. Because Saipov’s trial was opened years before, Garland allowed prosecutors to continue to pursue the death penalty.

Further Reading

Manhattan Bike Path Killer Sentenced To Life In Prison After Jury Split On Death Penalty (Forbes)

Truck’s ‘Violent Rampage’ In NYC Leaves 8 Injured, Driver Detained (Forbes)

Biden Administration Orders Halt On Federal Executions After Surge Under Trump (Forbes)

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