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In Saipov Death Penalty Closing Defense Tells Jury to Choose Life But Mistrial Again Denied

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Letter

SDNY COURTHOUSE, March 7 - Sayfullo Saipov after being found guilty on 28 counts now faces a penalty phase 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 tweeted it here.

On January 26, Saipov was found guilty on all counts, after jury questions about whether he did it to join or advance himself in ISIS or not. That will be a major issues, along with any mitigation, in the penalty phase.

 But in the penalty phase, on February 21 members of the media were not allowed into the courtroom, only to elsewhere in the courtroom where a feed shows only part of the courtroom. Inner City Press, the first of many media in opposition, wrote to Judge Broderick, here

Here's from the day's testimony, after which Judge Broderick said the press can have a bench in the back, thread here.

On February 22, there was a single witness, about ADX Florence. Thread here.

On February 28 as part of the defense case, an expert on Central Asia testified. Thread here.

On March 1, the defense rested its case, sans Saipov. Inner City Press live tweeted here

On March 3, the US Attorney's Office wrote to Judge Broderick seeking to preclude the defense from arguing in closing that the jury should choose a "civilized sense of justice" over "barbarism."

  Federal Defenders also wrote it, protesting the US' proposed verdict form and proposed penalty-phase instructions, and submitting its own in advance of the charge conference set for March 6.

On March 6 at the charge conference, EDNY cases and legislative history were argued, thread here

On March 7, the US Attorney's Office closing; Inner City Press was there, thread here.

Later on March 7, the defense's closing, and US Attorney's Office's reputtal, resumed thread here

They're back for Saipov's Federal Defender's closing.

FD Patton: It is not necessary to kill Sayfullo Saipov. By your verdict last month you have guaranteed he will be sent away for one of the most isolated spots on the planet. Decide for life.

 FD Patton: Meeting death with more death is not the answer. Nothing we do can undo what Mr. Saipov did. But dying in far away prison, forgotten, is more than dying as a martyr.  The law never requires death no matter how horrific the crime

FD Patton: This is a moral decision - AUSA: Objection! Judge: It's argument, I'll allow it. Proceed. FD Patton: Let's turn now to where Mr. Saipov is headed. It's in the high desert.  There are 3 showers a week, and 2 calls a month.

 FD Patton: There's 9 inch TV with basic channels... Mr. Saipov's life will be regulated, he will no make choices. He will be a cage by himself and maybe given a ball to hit against the wall. Here's the library: a non-Internet computer with a legal database

 FD Patton: In the 21 years of ADX, there have been two razor blades found, in 2003 and 2018. And one someone figured out how to distill alcohol from some of the food they served. They stopped serving that food.

 FD Patton: Sayfullo Saipov hasn't actually harmed anyone in 5 & a half years. You heard from our expert Noah Tucker... After Halloween, Sayfullo's father was detained in Uzbekistan for 15 days... Your Honor, may we take a break? Judge: Yes. Thread will continue

 FD Patton is closing his closing with a quote for "Just Mercy" by Bryan Stevenson Now US rebuttal by AUSA Jason Richman: AUSA Richman: The defense asked you to choose life. It was Saipov who chose death. For eight people.  So this is not just about adding up mitigating and aggravating factors

AUSA Richman: When the defendant shows you who he is, believe him. He can sit and plan just like he did on October 31 -- Federal Defender: Objection! Judge Broderick: It's argument. I'll allow it. AUSA Richman: People do get off of SAMs

AUSA Richman: No one said he seemed possessed -- Federal Defender: Objection! Judge Broderick: Overruled. Continue.

AUSA Richman: Noah Tucker never met Saipov. The pain his family showed? He himself caused it.

 AUSA Richman: Don't the deaths he caused call for more than the minimum? Federal Defender: Objection! Judge Broderick. Yes. Move on. AUSA: He asked to hang an ISIS flag in his hospital room

 Judge Broderick: Jurors, tomorrow we will have the jury charge. It will take several hours. Then you will deliberate [on the death penalty]

 With jury gone, Federal Defender specifies objections, that AUSA Richman said they can't guarantee Saipov won't be a danger, saying it shifts the burden. Mistrial requested again.

Judge Broderick : I deny the motion for a mistrial. Judge Broderick: Let's discuss the remaining jury charge issues.

Federal Defender: The Marshals transport is here and Mr. Saipov would like to leave. Judge: Do you want to leave?

Saipov: Yes I want to leave [Does.]

Judge Broderick: It's not quite over yet, but I want to thank everyone for their work on this for the last five years. I apologize for my levity - see you tomorrow. Now updated story coming.

 Inner City Press will stay on the case.

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

Watch this site

Saipov courtesy to Inner CIty Press by
                            Elizabeth Williams
Saipov, courtesy to Inner City Press by Elizabeth Williams


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