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Saipov Trial Day 3 Has Teacher and Victims now 5 Day Break as 1st US Case Moves Quickly

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Jan 10 - Sayfullo Saipov is now in a trial that may result in the death penalty for killing eight people with a van along the West Side Highway.

  On May 4, 2022 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Vernon S. Broderick held a conference on the case and Inner City Press live tweet it here and below.

On January 6, 2023 after a long jury selection that Inner City Press covered, some below, Judge Broderick confirmed that the trial would start January 9. And it did.

On January 9, 2023, Inner City Press was presented and live tweeted, thread here.

On January 10, 2023, witnesses from families run down by Saipov testified, with interpreters, and the day ended with a video of Home Depot. One juror wants to ask questions about Saipov' driver's license, another if he is an alternate. Inner City Press was there, thread here.

On Day 3, there were more victims, including from Argentina - and now a five day break, as the US case, or first part of the case, is moving quickly. Inner City Press live tweeted thread here

OK - Death penalty trial in US v. Sayfullo Saipov continues with Martin Marro on the stand, grew up in Argentina - trial is racing along, at least the guilt phase.

Assistant US Attorney: Were you hurt?

Marro: Yes. My head and ribs and elsewhere.

AUSA: Let's turn to October 31, 2017. What did you do? Marro: I took the subway and met my friends. We went biking....

                            victim Martin Marro, courtesy to Inner City
                            Press by Elizabeth Williams
Martin Marro shows wounds, courtesy of Elizabeth Williams

They're back after break. Witness: Ten of us came to New York from Argentina to celebrate. But five of us never came home. [Names them]

Now in Saipov death penalty trial, witness authenticates Gov't Exhibit 225, showing twisted bicycle carnage and the West Side Highway. [We hoping to obtain and publish some of the exhibits in this case]

 Next witness  is Mr. Zhang, who started working at Stuyvesant High School in 2015.

 Assistant US Attorney: Were you working on the afternoon of Oct 31, 2017? Zhang: Yes. I was looking for the Citibike station after work.

AUSA: Did you take one? Zhang: I was going to ride home on the bike path. I saw the truck, going very fast... I saw a body, that was not moving. I did not go closer. I was about 15 yards away.

Next witness is FBI Crisis Management Squad member Jessica Huckemeyer. AUSA lays groundwork, then reads a GX, stipulation about deceased victims and evidence. GX 3 IDs where law enforcement found the decedents...

On October 13, 2022 Saipov's Federal Defenders wrote to object to any disqualification of anti death penalty jurors, focusing on Juror 17 who cited his religious opposition to the death penalty. They argue that exclusion would violate the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. Inclusion would guarantee no death penalty imposed.

On December 20, Saipov's Federal Defenders objected to the US Attorney's Office using 14 of its 20 peremptory strikes... against women.

On December 22, the US struck back, pointing out that Team Saipov used 12 of its 20 peremptories against women, "the defendants Batson challenge may be rejected on that ground alone."

On Friday, December 23, Judge Broderick continued jury selection. Inner City Press live tweeted, thread here:

OK- Now again in US v Saipov death penalty eligible case jury selection, Dec 23 past 4 pm. Judge Broderick says trial will start Jan 9, and run to end of March.

Juror 707 has a ticket to Jamaica March 23, heading down to email it to court. Juror 707 has returned and is being excused, as is Juror 713 who answered "N/A" on questionnaire when asked for views on the death penalty.

It's past 5 pm, with jurors 714 and 720 still to be questioned, 723, 724 and 732 to be told to return another day. Questionnaire was in August, then fot a Jan 3 trial. Now with jury selection still not over, so trial pushed to Jan 9.

 Juror 714 has said that as a Catholic she is against the death penalty, favor life imprisonment, and would only vote for that. She will be questioned 10 or 25 more minutes: 720 is being sent home after waiting for a long time

Juror 714: I would not want to carry the burden of having voted to impose the death penalty. Federal Defenders still want her, it seems. But juror 714 is struck for cause. And juror 720 cried before she left. Adjourned.

  Meanwhile, the Federal Defenders filed a letter complaining about the halal meals in the MDC - just peanut butter and jelly - and asking for FD to feed Saipov lunch during the trial.

On January 3, 2023, while the Federal Defenders motion for a prayer rug protocol was approved, individual voir dire continued, and Inner City Press was there, the only media in the courtroom:

OK- Now again in US v Saipov death penalty eligible case jury selection, Jan 3.  Juror 764 says Middle East is "tribes." US wanted more questions, but juror is qualified. Is told not to Google "mitigating factors."

Questioning began of Juror 664 but will continue; there will be rulings on Jurors 360, 224 and 380 (in writing) and 648, orally.

On January 4, questioning of juror 780 was put over to January 5, when lead defense counsel will not be present. Judge Broderick, citing the need for US Marshals to search through food, denied the Federal Defenders' halal lunch motion. But there will apparently be an ex parte / sealed letter on the topic.

  Judge Broderick said an order would issue that night or the next day about the overflow courtroom and logistics. He questioned whether the statute is about victims being in the courtroom itself, and not any overflow. A concern was expressed about victims sitting in what was referred to as the press box.

We'll have more on this.

The case is US v. Saipov, 17-cr-722 (Broderick)



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