By Kimberly Torres
MANHATTAN, NY – Former prosecutor for the Manhattan district attorney’s office Jordan Rubin this week bluntly criticized the U.S. Dept. of Justice’s pursuit of the death penalty, contrary to what current President Joe Biden promised on the campaign trail.
Rubin charged the Dept. of Justice should “be honest about what it thinks justice means in the Saipov case and all capital cases, and to act consistently in pursuing it one way or the other.”
The Islamic extremist, according to news reports, intentionally drove a truck at high speed down a path along the Hudson River in 2017, running over bicyclists on a sunny morning just hours before the city’s Halloween celebrations.
Jurors began hearing testimony Monday to help them decide whether Saipov should get a death sentence.
The former prosecutor said prosecutors in charge are pushing “for the death penalty in this case which brings Biden’s inconsistency on the issue to a new level.”
Rubin said an example that illustrated the administration’s inconsistency was when “the Department of Justice has defended existing federal death sentences and, in Saipov’s trial, is seeking the first new one of Biden’s presidency.
Rubin said the administration chose not to pursue such sentences in a host of other cases and “temporarily suspend carrying out executions.”
Rubin asked, if the initial goal was to eliminate the death penalty and “if the administration doesn’t plan on executing anyone, and if Biden plans on commuting any death row sentences to life present before he leaves office then what respect would that show to the jury purposely deciding Saipov’s fate?”
Rubin also questions the morality that “would needlessly put jurors through a potentially excruciating exercise in deciding whether a person lives or not.”
The main point former prosecutor Rubin is trying to make appears to be “the Biden administration isn’t really against the death penalty so much as it isn’t always for it,” suggesting it picks and chooses when it wants to use the death penalty.
Explaining what the influence of the Biden administration could potentially have on future administrations, the former Manhattan prosecutor stated that “defending and seeking death sentences sets the stage for a future president to continue Donald Trump’s infamous execution spree.