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For Saipov 8 Consecutive Life Sentences Plus 260 Years Now US Opposes $100 a Month

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Letter Book

SDNY COURTHOUSE, May 19 - Sayfullo Saipov after being found guilty on 28 counts faced 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 May 17, 2023, after dodging the death penalty, Saipov was up for sentencing. Victims spoke, then Saipov for 50 minutes, without remorse. Then he got eight consecutive life sentences, plus 260 years. Inner City Press was there and live tweeted, thread here and below.

On May 19, the US Attorney's Office wrote it opposing Federal Defenders' proposal of $100 a month for Saipov, saying it is up to the Bureau of Prisons (which, the Office says, does not have a current plan to resume charging for phone calls).

From May 17, 2023: All rise! Judge Vernon S. Broderick: Please be seated. This matter is on for sentencing. Mr. Saipov, can you hear me?

Saipov (after a pause) Yes!

Judge: Let me outline the sequence I anticipate following today. I'll calculate the guideline, then hear from victims

 Judge: I'll hear from victims' families. I'll hear from the government, the defense, the defendant, then take another break. Then we'll continue with the sentencing.  AUSA: We will request a moment of silence after any statement by the defendant, for the victims

 Judge: I have the Government's sentencing memo filed May 15 [but only docketed on the afternoon of May 16]  Mr. Patton, were the defense objections filed on ECF? Patton: Yes. Oh, sorry, no. We will file them. [When? What's the point of filing after the sentencing?

[While counsel push to be sure their name & office addresses are on the pre-sentencing report, here's from a written victim impact statement by Ana Evans docketed today: "What will weigh on the conformity of a terrorist's personality?! Genetics, the environment?"

FD Patton: The facility [ADX Florence, Colorado a/k/a SuperMax] only gave free calls during COVID. It ends this week. Mr. Saipov's calls are going to be expensive, $100 a month [to Uzbekistan]. We're asking for that amount

 AUSA: There is no reason for this defendant to receive special treatment. Judge: I'd like to know if there is a plan to go back to charging for phone calls. AUSA: There is proposed rulemaking...  Judge: Mr. Saipov, have you reviewed the report? Saipov: Yes!

 Judge: The guideline is life imprisonment. Do the parties agree? Yes. Yes. Judge: OK, let us hear from the victims, or victims' families.  1st is Luciana Martínez: I want to thank the police, and the investigators, and the prosecutors, for their empathy

Luciana Martínez: Terrorism has international arms, and deserve international sanctions that will safeguard the rights of victims. 

Another letter from a mother: A fiend took away these lives in one minute. Without pity. Does he know how much harm he has caused? I don't think so... Since resurrection is not possible, Saipov should not be allowed to do anything that his victims cannot do

Victim's sister: He will have a TV, and a gym; he'll be able to make calls and have visitors. Is that really justice? I have a bitter taste. I was hoping for something stricter. They are not equal benefits... I hope you go crazy out of loneliness.

Now the mother of Nicholas Cleves, killed at 23 years old. "His father killed himself the day after Nicholas' 19th birthday. It upended our lives - we became each others' pillars. But that came to a tragic halt when Nicholas was savagely killed in a terror attack

Nicholas Cleves' mother: I wasn't there to protect him. That he was in abject terror will torment me forever.  I have nothing but deep contempt for this killer, detritus. The killer will live out his life, forgotten by his cult. But it does not compare to our pain

Nicholas Cleves' aunt: Nothing could prepare me for this.  My mother would ask, Why did this happen? Why was Nicholas killed? Why did this man do this? She'd say, He's a monster. And then she died - her last thoughts of his vile "human being," I put it in quotes

Cleves' aunt: His family, if they saw he was radicalized and did nothing, they have blood on their hands, too.  My sister has to close her business. She is ruined. Why is there no fund or some kind of agency set up to help victims of terrorism?

 Now AUSA reads in letter from Nicholas Cleves' relative, culled from a series of letters she wrote to him after his death... "Was that my hallucination? I saw you on the subway, and in the Japanese restaurant we used to hang out in."

 Now a victim's relative of Alejandro Damian Pagnucco says, to Saipov, Your god is just like you, garbage [basura] AUSA: Next we have a letter from the father of Diego Angelini: "I find no explanation of this. Could it be his ideology? He should pay for his actions

 Now a relative of Ariel Erlij says to Saipov: If you want your God to respect you, go and kill yourself.  Now witness in wheelchairs, legs amputated. She says, "Mr. Saipov, I will never be able to walk, like you can." Saipov is in a prison blue short sleave shirt

 Amputee: Saipov, are you still convinced what he did was right? Do you still think of yourself a soldier of ISIS? I hope not Now another victim witness: I do not understand why the Nations do not take action to stop this. [Again: UN Terror Office is Saudi-funded]

Now mother of Ann-Laure Decadt, directly addressing Saipov: Your youngest child and her youngest child were born in the same month. You destroyed both of their lives with your cowardly act.

 Final victim-speaker, to Saipov: I wish you could see the world the way I do. I think I see a monster in you. I think I saw my monster in you. I think I see myself in you.  You hit me at 3 pm on West Street and Vestry. Why? How can I fix you? Am I asking too much?

 Last victim to be heard today. Judge Broderick: OK, break until 2:30 pm.

 OK - they are back. AUSA Houle: One of the victims said, No punishment can compare on the punishment Mr. Saipov has inflicted on us.  The defendant relishes and delights in the suffering he causes. I don't know what he will say today [neither do I - drum roll]

 AUSA: We are requesting 8 consecutive life sentences, and more... To send a message. Thank you. Judge Broderick: Mr. Patton, does the defense wish to be heard? Patton: Not the defense, but Mr. Saipov. AUSA Houle: May we have one moment? Judge: Yes.

Sayfullo Saipov: I would like to start with respect to all the living things in the world and the last prophet, Prophet Muhammad. Allah said he would create a person, people have to lean and listen to him

Saipov: The Devil was from the category of evils... Allah told him, I am going to kick you out from my area and send you to the fire. Then Allah gave the Devil until Doomsday. But I will put all of your followers to Hell. Then Devil and people became enemies

 Saipov: Allah told the mothers and the children, I will send you to heaven, you have only to avoid the fruit of one fruit tree. The Devil said, Do you want to see the tree of infinity? Their clothes fell off, and they got ashamed. Allah said, Didn't I tell you?

 Saipov: Then more and more people were born and there were a lot of people on Earth... Allah accepted the sacrifice of the younger son, but not of the oldest soon. This led to jealousy - and led to the first murder.

 Saipov: Then Allah sent Noah. The prophets' job was to call everyone to pray only for one god, Allah. The last prophet, Allah sent to Mecca. It was a place full of sin at that time. They used to pray to Buddha and to other things.

 Saipov: Thanks to Allah, in 2014 he said another calipha to Earth. He became the Emir of the Islam world. All the Muslims started moving to the land of Sharia. The amount of Muslims increased and it brought happiness to Islam. Of course the Devils didn't like this

Saipov: All the unbelievers got together and they started attacking the land of Calipha. [Saipov is saying this, waving his right arms around, seated at defense table with Federal Defenders] Saipov: The attacked land of Calipha, they didn't care, women or children

 Saipov: What was the fault of those Muslims? There was only one fault of theirs, their belief in One Allah and Sharia.... Islam sacrificed a lot, the followers of Islam [Saipov corrects the interpreter - 45 minutes so far]

Saipov: These attacks against Islam followers were in secret, not on the media.  AUSA: Please pause the translation for a moment. Judge: Sure, hold on.  AUSA: He is getting close to his SAMs [Special Administrative Measures]

AUSA: We will not object to the use of the word "invade," but his right to speak at sentencing is not unlimited, as to time nor content. Judge: Mr. Saipov, you've been going for about 50 minutes or so. You are up to 2014. You started with Adam & Eve & Noah. Focus

Saipov: (though interpreter) - It is surprising if one Muslim kills an unbeliever, they talk about it for months and months. But they do not talk about Muslims being killed.  Allah is sending help to Islam-world

Saipov: I was here for the three month trial. I heard the victims families and friends. What about the tears and blood of the Islami population? It would cover way much more place. The courtroom would be filled up with tears and blood of the Muslim population

 Saipov: At the end of my speech I wanted to offer thanks to Allah. Judge Broderick: Thank you.

Voice (shouting) THE ONLY ACT OF THE DEVIL IS THE ACT YOU DID!

Judge: Control yourself. If there any reason I should not impose sentence? AUSA: No reason

 Judge Broderick: This is a serious crime. I prosecuted violent gangs. But the conduct in this case is among the worst I have seen - the unrepentant nature of the defendant. You do not care about their suffering.

Judge Broderick: You injured your own family. Your father said they are ashamed. He was detained for two weeks after your truck attack. He was overcome by emotion. Your homicidal rage damaged people including even your own family.

Judge Broderick: While the jury may have found mitigating factors against the death penalty, there is no mitigation for your crimes. I'm ready to impose sentence. Please rise. I commit you to prison for life on each of counts 1 to 8, plus 260 years & 2 concurrent

Judge Broderick: I'm going to dismiss any open counts. Anything else? AUSA: No. FD Patton: We'll follow up on the commissary issue

 Judge Broderick: I understand Mr. Saipov will be going to Florence. We'll stand adjourned.

Back 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 March 9 for deliberations, Juror 4 did not come in, due to an undisclosed emergency with a relative (who may or may not be in law enforcement). Judge Broderick noted a Federal Defenders argument, which Inner City Press first wrote about on January 16, 2023. Inner City Press has published a booklet about the case. More on Substack here

With a replacement Juror 4, deliberations started over, including a note with questions about threats to behead, and ADX, thread here

On March 13, in the afternoon it ended - with no decision, therefore a decision not to execute. Booklet here, thread here.

On March 20, Judge Broderick gave a time for the US to respond to Saipov's request to be sentenced (to life imprisonment) in the week of April 17: "MEMO ENDORSEMENT as to Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov on re: [777] LETTER MOTION addressed to Judge Vernon S. Broderick from David Patton dated 3/20/2023 re: Date for Formal Sentencing. ENDORSEMENT: The Government's request for leave to respond to this letter by March 22, 2023 is hereby granted. I will make a decision on the sentencing date after receiving the Government's letter. (Signed by Judge Vernon S. Broderick on 3/20/2023)." Watch this site.

  On April 2, the US wrote in to say that Federal Defenders should disclose, at least ex parte, all of who worked on the case, and that the information be preserved for any appeals by Saipov.

While Judge Broderick reiterated that, still not in the public docket the day before the sentencing is the US' memo, which says "The Government respectfully requests that the Court impose a sentence of eight consecutive life sentences on Counts One through Eight, 260 years’ imprisonment to run consecutively on Counts Nine through Twenty-Six, and two additional life sentences on Counts Twenty-Seven and Twenty-Eight to run concurrently with all other sentences imposed."

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

More on Substack here

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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