Attorneys for a terrorist convicted of killing eight people in a truck attack are arguing that prosecutors’ decision to pursue a death penalty for their client is motivated by racism, according to ABC News.
The attorneys filed the motion just four days before the start of the penalty phase for Sayfullo Saipov, who was convicted of killing eight people in a deadly terror attack in New York.
4 days before the penalty phase is scheduled to begin, attorneys for Sayfullo Saipov sought on Thursday to strike the government's decision to seek the death penalty, in part because of what the defense said was possible ethnic or religious discrimination. https://t.co/GEiHubctas
— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) February 9, 2023
According to ABC News, the defense team argued in the motion that the government was pursuing the death penalty for Saipov because of his religion and national origin. The defense also argued that President Joe Biden’s administration has imposed a moratorium on federal executions.
ISIS-inspired truck attacker Sayfullo Saipov asks judge to strike the death penalty, saying the decision to pursue it was based on "religion and national origin, in
violation of the Fifth and Eighth Amendments."
— Aaron Katersky (@AaronKatersky) February 9, 2023
“And given 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,” defense attorney David Patton argued.
Patton revealed that his client is willing to plead guilty, waive all appeals, and consent to life imprisonment. Prosecutors have not given any response to Patton’s motion.
A jury convicted Saipov of all 28 count charges following a deliberation that lasted only six hours. Saipov, an ISIS-inspired terrorist, was accused of killing eight people and injuring 12 others after he rammed a rented truck into bicyclists along a pedestrian path by the Hudson River.
After he was admitted to the United States on a diversity visa, Sayfullo Saipov demonstrated his gratitude to the land that had welcomed him by murdering eight people in New York City on Halloween night in 2017 by driving a truck along a bike path.https://t.co/BgZDSgrQpd
— Grace Anne 🇺🇸 (@os_anne) February 4, 2023
According to Blaze Media, Saipov had planned to drive the truck through the Brooklyn Bridge. However, he crashed the vehicle into a pole and a school bus, leaving several students and adults injured.