U.S. President Donald Trump says the terror suspect who killed eight in Tuesday’s attack in New York should get the death penalty. Officials still believe the suspect most likely acted alone, while his wife cooperates with authorities. CGTN’s John Terrett reports.
Two days after the worst terror attack in New York City since 9/11, the judicial process kicked in for the defendant—29-year-old Uzbekistan native Sayfullo Saipov.
Chief Federal Public Defender David Patton, the attorney appointed to represent him asked that the wheels of justice be allowed to turn, however slowly.
“I hope given all of the attention in this case, and all of the attention it’s sure to continue to receive, that everyone lets the judicial process play out,” he said. “It’s especially important in a case like this. I promise you that how we treat Mr. Saipov in this judicial process will say a lot more about us than it will say about him.”
Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump pulled back from earlier comments that he wanted to send Saipov to the notorious Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, saying he’d love to do it, but the federal process just takes too long.
He tweeted: “NYC terrorist was happy as he asked to hang ISIS flag in his hospital room. He killed 8 people, badly injured 12. SHOULD GET DEATH PENALTY!”
But Jeff Sessions, Trump’s attorney general, is not ruling Guantanamo Bay out altogether for others who might try similar tactics allegedly committed by Saipov.
“Terrorists should know this. This administration will use all lawful tools at our disposal, including prosecution in Article 3 courts or at Guantanamo Bay,” Sessions said.
“If anyone has any doubt about it, they can ask the more than 500 criminals whom the Department of Justice has convicted of terrorism related offenses since 9/11. And they can ask the dozens of enemy combatants at Guantanamo.”
New York City’s annual marathon is coming up this weekend. Police Chief James O’Neill said his officers will be out in large numbers. But every one of the more than 50,000 runners and two million people expected to line the route must be alert.
“You know, maybe take off your headphones, you know, maybe stop looking at your phone,” he said. “See what’s going on around you and if you see something that doesn’t look right – something that makes you uncomfortable – not just ‘you should call’, I think you have an obligation to call.
“Give us the opportunity to investigate that threat, and that’s how we’re all going to move forward here and keep this city safe.”
Everyone’s praying the marathon goes off without a hitch, but it’s unlikely that scenes like this from Tuesday will be far from anyone’s mind—be they athletes or spectators.