Sunday, November 29, 2020
Sunday, November 29, 2020

Trump calls for death penalty for NYC truck attack suspect

Get Your Content. Daily.

Be the first to know about the biggest stories as they break. Sign up for breaking news email alerts from Your Content.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Thursday backed away from his threat to send the suspect in the New York bike path attack to Guantanamo Bay, acknowledging in an early morning tweet that the military judicial process at the Cuban detention center takes longer than the civilian federal court system.

But Trump called again for the man to be executed, which could complicate the case for prosecutors and give defense attorneys a chance to argue the president’s tweets hurt their client’s right to a fair trial.

Trump tweeted Thursday morning that the case against Sayfullo Saipov, 29, “Should move fast. DEATH PENALTY!”

He had tweeted Wednesday night: “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!”

- Advertisement -

His comments broke with longstanding tradition against presidents publicly commenting on criminal cases.

Trump on Wednesday, in seemingly off-the-cuff responses to reporters, said he would consider sending Saipov to Guantanamo, a notion the White House later reinforced by saying it considered Saipov to be an “enemy combatant.”

Authorities say Saipov was inspired by the Islamic State group when he veered into a city bike path in Manhattan on Tuesday, killing eight people.

But just a few hours later, the government filed federal terrorism charges against the Uzbek immigrant, signaling an intent to prosecute him within the U.S. The one-two developments marked a sharp disconnect between the president and his administration.

Trump said Thursday he would love to see Saipov prosecuted at Guantanamo, but tweeted that there is “also something appropriate” about keeping him “in the home of the horrible crime he committed.”

The Obama administration made a similar argument in trying to move the five men accused in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks from Guantanamo to New York for trial in a civilian court, an effort that was derailed by political opposition. Those cases are bogged down in pretrial litigation at Guantanamo and are likely years from resolution.

With the filing of federal charges against Saipov, there was little indication that the threat of Guantanamo was anything more than tough talk.

No one held within the U.S. has been sent to Guantanamo since the detention center opened in January 2002 to hold suspected members of al-Qaida and the Taliban.

Still, elected officials routinely raise the prospect of doing so after attacks as a way to signal toughness in the fight against terrorism.

Just seven men have been convicted either by trial before military commission or through plea bargains, including four whose convictions were later overturned on appeal or invalidated.

Trump said during the campaign that he wanted to fill Guantanamo with “bad dudes.” But the Justice Department last week opted to send a man accused of involvement in the 2012 Benghazi attacks to federal court in Washington to face charges — not Guantanamo.


Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

- Advertisement -

Protect Independent Journalism

Your Content is a nonprofit newsroom registered in Pennsylvania [Entity No.: 6690403] that produces nonpartisan, evidence-based journalism to expose injustice, corruption and wrongdoing.

Spearheading the news revolution for Americans across the nation, Your Content has brought a voice to those the media failed to acknowledge.

This story you’ve just finished was funded by our readers and we hope it inspires you to make a gift to Your Content so that we can publish more reports like this one that holds people in power to account and produces real change.

Your donation will help us ensure that we can continue this critical work. We are busier than ever covering stories you won’t see anywhere else.

USA
13,731,759
confirmed cases
Updated on November 29, 2020 6:06 pm
united states
273,005
deaths
Updated on November 29, 2020 6:06 pm
united states
5,361,698
active
Updated on November 29, 2020 6:06 pm
united states
8,097,056
recovered
Updated on November 29, 2020 6:06 pm
World
63,036,259
confirmed cases
Updated on November 29, 2020 6:06 pm
world
1,464,694
deaths
Updated on November 29, 2020 6:06 pm
world
18,535,033
active
Updated on November 29, 2020 6:06 pm
world
43,036,532
recovered
Updated on November 29, 2020 6:06 pm

Related Articles