NEW YORK —A convicted terrorist who carried out an ISIS-inspired attack, using a rented truck to strike and kill eight people on a New York City bike path, is set to be sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday.
In March, Sayfullo Saipov learned his effective sentence when the jury in the penalty phase of his trial in Manhattan federal court was unable to unanimously agree on the death penalty for any of the nine capital counts against him.
Since the jury did not reach a unanimous decision for the death penalty on any of the nine capital counts against him, Sayfullo Saipov will receive a mandatory life imprisonment sentence for each count as prescribed by law.
Saipov’s case marked the first death penalty case under the Biden administration.
During the sentencing hearing on Wednesday morning, approximately 25 survivors and family members of the victims are anticipated to deliver victim impact statements, as mentioned in court documents.
Among the victims of the attack, five were citizens of Argentina, two were Americans, and one was from Belgium.
As stated in a memo by the prosecutors, a significant number of individuals attending the Manhattan federal court hearing are expected to travel from Argentina and Belgium to participate in the proceedings.
Before his sentencing, the convicted terrorist will have the chance to speak in court, although it remains uncertain whether he will take that opportunity.
The incident occurred on Halloween in 2017 when Saipov drove a rented U-Haul truck into cyclists and pedestrians on the West Side bike path in Manhattan. He then crashed the truck into a school bus, according to authorities.
Following the collision, Saipov exited the vehicle while wielding a pellet gun and paintball gun. He was subsequently shot by a New York City Police Department officer and apprehended, as confirmed by officials.
In January, the jury found Saipov guilty on all 28 counts related to the deadly attack.
The charges he was convicted of included murder in aid of racketeering activity, assault with a dangerous weapon and attempted murder in aid of racketeering activity, attempted murder in aid of racketeering activity, provision of material support to ISIS, and violence and destruction of a motor vehicle.
Saipov is expected to be held at the ADX facility in Florence, Colorado, where he will be subjected to solitary confinement for at least 22 hours a day, according to his attorneys.
Federal prosecutors are seeking the maximum punishment for Saipov’s 28-count conviction, which includes eight consecutive life sentences, a consecutive term of 260 years imprisonment, and two concurrent life sentences. They argue that Saipov, who showed no remorse and committed a heinous crime, deserves no leniency.
The prosecutors believe that imposing the harshest sentence will hold him fully accountable and send a strong message against terrorist attacks on innocent civilians, serving as a deterrent to others contemplating similar acts on U.S. soil.