The man who murdered eight people in an ISIS-inspired attack in New York City in 2017 should face the death penalty because he “chose terror” and it is “time for him to face consequences to his choices,” a federal prosecutor told a jury on Tuesday in the sentencing phase of Sayfullo Saipov’s trial.
Federal defender David Patton, meanwhile, argued that Saipov should be sentenced to life in prison because he will be sent to one of the most “isolated, solitary” facilities in America in Florence, Colorado.
The attorneys made their cases in closing arguments of the sentencing phase on Tuesday. The jury, which already convicted Saipov on 28 counts in January, is expected to begin deliberating on Wednesday.
Saipov, a Uzbekistan citizen, admitted to FBI agents that he carried out the attack on behalf of ISIS on Oct. 31, 2017. He used a rental truck to speed down a bike path along the Hudson River, killing eight people and wounding nearly a dozen others.
DRAMATIC NEW VIDEO SHOWS MOMENTS BEFORE NYC TRUCK ATTACK DRIVER SAYFULLO SAIPOV IS SHOT BY POLICE
Assistant US attorney Amanda Houle called Saipov “a proud terrorist” who has shown no remorse for his crimes.
“He chose to come to this country and fight for an enemy,” Houle told the jurors as she showed them gory images of the scene. “And it is his choices that call for the most significant punishment that the law provides: the sentence of death.”
Patton, Saipov’s attorney, told jurors that the “appropriate moral decision here is life” because “meeting death with more death is not the answer.”
“It is not necessary to kill Sayfullo Saipov to keep us or anyone else safe,” Patton said. “So we are asking you to choose hope over fear, justice over vengeance, and in the end, life over death.”