Trump seeks death penalty for NY truck attack suspect

Saul Bowman
November 3, 2017

President Donald Trump said Wednesday he would "certainly consider" sending the man suspected of mowing down eight people and injuring others with a rented truck in New York City to the USA detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. "But when *you* say it, it makes it harder for DOJ to make that happen".

When asked whether the controversial Cuban camp was an option for Saipov, Mr Trump said: "I would certainly consider that".

Saipov was on Thursday charged with terrorism offences by USA prosecutors who said he chose to carry out the attack "to inflict maximum damage against civilians".

Saipov was wounded by a shot from the police after driving over a crowd of people with a vehicle and is now under surveillance in a NY hospital.

He added, though, that the case "should move fast" and again called for the death penalty, which could create a hurdle for federal prosecutors in the case.

He added that the USA justice system is "a joke and it's a laughingstock" because it doesn't move quickly enough. "You'll never convince me that the best way to gather intelligence in this reading them their Miranda rights".

Although the state of NY does not contemplate capital punishment in it's penal system, which has life imprisonment as the maximum penalty, however, Saipov could receive a death sentence in a federal trial for terrorism.

Saipov is being held without bail at a Manhattan federal lockup next to the courthouse.

Tuesday's assault was the deadliest in New York City since September 11, 2001, when suicide hijackers crashed two jetliners into the World Trade Center, killing more than 2,600 people.

But Trump tweets that the judicial process at the Cuban detention center takes longer than the federal court system. "He killed 8 people, badly injured 12", Trump tweeted.

Mark Zaid, a National Security lawyer, commented that Trump's death penalty tirade could constitute "potentially tainting a jury pool" and could give Saipov a solid defense in claiming that the president's statements would breach a guarantee to a free and fair trial. But that avenue appeared closed after prosecutors brought terrorism charges against the Uzbek immigrant in federal court in NY on Wednesday.

"What we're seeing today is, in the United States, a great deal of that is just done online", he said.

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