After running over eight people with a vehicle on a bike path in Manhattan on Wednesday and seriously wounding another 18, an Islamic fanatic was handed 10 life sentences and an additional 260 years in prison.
Judge Vernon S. Broderick of the U.S. District Court said, “The conduct in this case is among the worst, if not the worst, I've ever seen.” He spoke to Sayfullo Saipov's lack of remorse, who, when given the opportunity to speak, said that the blood and tears shed by adherents of the Islamic religion pale in comparison to the tears shed by victims and family members in the courtroom.
Saipov received a mandatory life term in jail for killing tourists and New Yorkers on October 31, 2017, after a jury in March rejected the death penalty for the Uzbek national and former resident of New Jersey.
During the sentence, relatives of the eight victims of the Halloween terror assault spoke, often through tears, detailing their ongoing suffering and sometimes addressing the man found guilty of the killings.
The victim's father, Frank Decadt, expressed his wish to Saipov that “one day you will understand the extent of horror you have inflicted on so many people.”
In her wheelchair, Marion Van Reeth, who was amputated of both legs in the assault, sat before Saipov and said to him, “I will never be able to walk like you can.”
She said: “I have a question for you. Saipov kept his head dropped and eyes closed, listening to a translation of the proceedings via earbuds. Are you still persuaded that your crimes against innocent people were the correct thing to do after spending so much time in prison?
She shared the hope of others that Saipov would one day see the mistake of his terrorist conduct.
According to a presentence submission, prosecutors sought Broderick to sentence the defendants to eight consecutive life terms, one for each fatality, and an extra 260 years in jail.
Prosecutors said that Saipov was an open terrorist and a proud killer who deserved no mercy and should be punished to the maximum extent of the law.
Despite the fact that a single life sentence would have the same practical outcome since there is no parole, the court decided to impose eight consecutive life terms and two that would run concurrently.
The shortest statement was made at the sentence hearing by Gabriela Pabla Pereya, the widow of Ariel Erlij, one of five men from Argentina died on a bike ride as they commemorated their 30th high school graduation. She referred to Saipov as a coward and advised him to commit himself if he genuinely desired God's acceptance and love.
Nicholas Cleves was slain, and Monica Missio said that his death “has completely destroyed my life.”
With his terrorist act, Saipov, 35, left a trail of devastation in his wake.
In addition to the 18 people who suffered significant injuries, five visitors from Argentina, two Americans, and a Belgian lady also perished.
Saipov emerged from his vehicle yelling “God is great” in Arabic and waved paintball and pellet weapons in the air before being shot by a policeman and brought into jail.
He asked FBI agents who were questioning him in a hospital room after the assault whether they may put an Islamic State group flag on the walls, according to the prosecution, and grinned.
His family argued for a life sentence throughout his trial, stating they hoped he would come to terms with what he had done and show regret. They said they want for him to revert to the unassuming man they knew before he became an obsession with the violent organization's internet propaganda.
Former long-haul truck driver Saipov entered the US lawfully in 2010 from Uzbekistan, living first in Florida and then Ohio before relocating to Paterson, New Jersey, to be with his family.
His attorney, David Patton, told the jury that his acts were “senseless, horrific, and there's no justification for them.”