Manhattan Bike Path Killer Escapes The Death Penalty

Sayfullo Saipov was sentenced for killing eight people in a 2017 assault on a Manhattan bike lane.

bike path killer
  • In the bike path killer case, a split among jurors in the U.S. has resulted in no death penalty for an Uzbekistan truck driver.
  • He was charged with purposely racing a truck alongside a widespread New York City bike path, killing eight people and maiming others.
  • Sayfullo Saipov was sentenced for killing eight people in a 2017 assault on a Manhattan bike lane.
  • The so-called judicial “deadlock” means that the bike path killer is now spending his life in prison without the possibility of parole because a unanimous decision is needed to enforce the death sentence. 
  • Prosecutors said he raced up, trying to kill as many people as possible.

In the bike path killer case, a split among jurors in the U.S. has resulted in no death penalty for an Uzbekistan truck driver charged with purposely racing a truck alongside a widespread New York City bike path, killing eight people and maiming others.

He has been spared the death penalty after a federal jury disagreed on how he should be punished. 

The so-called judicial “deadlock” means that the bike path killer is now spending his life in prison without the possibility of parole because a unanimous decision is needed to enforce the death sentence. 

He will serve his convict at Colorado’s Supermax facility, the most protected federal jail in the United States.

Saipov, a 35-year-old Uzbekistan native, was convicted in January by a federal jury of committing assassination with the goal of joining ISIS, a group the U.S has designated a “terrorist” organization. 

The same jury was re-established to consider the bike path killer penalty. Saipov’s case is the initial federal death penalty trial after President Joe Biden, a Democrat, took office in 2021 after vowing to abolish capital punishment during his campaign.

In their verdict form, read aloud by U.S. District Judge Vernon Broderick in Manhattan federal court, the jury stated that it did not cooperatively agree that Saipov was probably to commit criminal acts of jail violence in the future.

The 12 jurors approved of several other aggravating factors that support the death penalty, as well as that Saipov planned the attack in advance and carried it out.

However, they also concurred on several mitigating factors, including that many of Saipov’s family still loved him despite what he was done and that a life sentence was provided and expected he would sometime realize the evil of his act.

During the trial’s sentencing phase, jurors heard from attack survivors who testified about their continued suffering and from jail officials who described Saipov’s outbursts and threats since his arrest. 

“The defendant is still engaged in ‘jihad ,’ ISIS, and violence,” prosecutor Amanda Houle stated in her March 7 closing argument. 

Saipov’s defense attorney, David Patton, noted for his part in his closing debate that the death penalty “was not necessary to do justice.” 

He said that the criminal would spend 22 or 23 hours a day alone in a lockup with a cement bed when sentenced to life in prison.

Manhattan bike path attacked by ISIS member

Saipov’s charge for the murder was never in doubt. His lawyers acknowledged he drove his rented vehicle on a sunny day over a crowded lower Manhattan bike path beside the Hudson River.

Prosecutors said he raced up, trying to kill as many people as possible. His plot to drive to the Brooklyn Bridge and kill more people was stopped when he crashed into a school bus and left the wrecked truck.

Prosecutors said he smiled when he was questioned about an ISIL (ISIS) group flag being posted on the wall of his hospital room.

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