WASHINGTON D.C.: The U.S. government said it will seek the death penalty for Sayfullo Saipov, the man charged with running over and killing eight people with a truck on a Manhattan bicycle path on Halloween in 2017.
In a letter filed late last week in a Manhattan federal court, prosecutors said Attorney-General Merrick Garland "decided to continue to seek the death penalty" against Saipov, 34, adding that they notified the defendant's lawyers and victims.
While the Department of Justice is reviewing the use of the death penalty, executions were resumed in 2020 after a 17-year hiatus under Garland's predecessor, William Barr.
Uzbek national Saipov has pleaded not guilty to a 28-count indictment, including for murder and supporting designated terrorist organization Islamic State.
According to prosecutors, on 31st October, 2017 Saipov used a Home Depot rental truck to run over bicyclists along the West Side Highway, in a bid to gain membership in Islamic State.
The people he killed included five Argentinian tourists and one Belgian tourist, while more than a dozen others were seriously injured.
If Saipov is found guilty, he could also be sentenced to life in prison without parole.