President Trump Tweets NYC Terrorist Deserves Death Penalty

Posted: Nov 02, 2017 12:15 AM

Late Wednesday evening, President Donald Trump weighed in on Twitter about what he thinks should happen to Sayfullo Saipov, the man who was arrested on Tuesday after he drove a truck into pedestrians in New York City. Trump tweeted that he thinks Saipov "SHOULD GET DEATH PENALTY!", as since he seemed "happy" in the hospital and asked for an ISIS flag. 

Federal terrorism charges have been filed against Saipov, and those charges are punishable with death. However, he may escape a death sentence if he agrees to plead guilty as part of a plea bargain. 

Trump was criticized by many for his tweet, which could potentially be seen as tainting a jury pool. In the case against Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, his lawyers argued (unsuccessfully) that the case should be thrown out because of then-candidate Trump's similar comments. The judge declined to dismiss the case, but said that Trump's statements would be considered to be a mitigating factor in sentencing. 

To be blunt: President Trump should not have tweeted this. He's no longer a private citizen, he's the leader of a country. His words have consequences--look at the Bergdahl trial. (And those comments were made before he was president.) Saipov is a terrorist who probably should go to jail for the rest of his life. That's not the issue at hand. Trump could have just made things needlessly complicated in fewer than 140 characters, and that's a big problem.