Convicted terrorist Sayfullo Saipov won’t be sentenced to death after a jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict in favor of the death penalty Monday.
The jury in the penalty phase of the trial of a terrorist convicted of committing a 2017 attack for ISIS that killed eight on a New York City bike path told the judge it was unable to reach a unanimous decision.
A unanimous decision in favor of the death penalty would be required to sentence Saipov to death in the first death penalty trial under the Biden administration.
The jury did not reach a unanimous decision as to Saipov’s sentence on any of the nine capital counts they were charged to consider in the penalty phase of the trial.
While the default sentence is life in prison, Judge Vernon Broderick did not immediately impose a sentence and said an official sentencing date will be scheduled.
Broderick read the jury’s full verdict form in court and accepted the jury’s decision. The jury has been excused.
Saipov shook his lawyer’s hand before being led out of the courtroom.
Saipov is expected to serve his life sentence at the Federal Bureau of Prisons ADX facility in Florence, Colorado, in solitary confinement at least 22 hours a day, his attorneys said during trial.
Saipov was convicted in January of all counts against him for the fatal terror attack he committed on Halloween in 2017, driving a rental truck down a New York City bike path killing eight and injuring several more.
The jury convicted him of counts of 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.
The conviction triggered a penalty phase of the trial.
The jury expressed in a note just after 2 p.m. Monday they were unable to reach a unanimous decision. Prosecutors asked that the court poll the jury as to whether the jurors are fully satisfied if no further deliberations were to be had, while Saipov’s defense counsel objected to this approach and asked the judge to accept their verdict.
US District Judge Vernon Broderick ruled he would not poll the jury.