James Cohen was quoted in an ABC News article about President Trump’s Twitter remarks calling for the death penalty for terror suspect Saypullo Saipov who plowed into pedestrians in a rented pickup truck, killing eight people and injuring eleven.
In a highly unusual instance of a president weighing in on the fate of a defendant awaiting trial, Trump said on Twitter that 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov “SHOULD GET DEATH PENALTY!” in the attack that left eight people dead. In another tweet, Trump said prosecutors “Should move fast. DEATH PENALTY!”
Some legal experts Thursday said judges in Manhattan’s federal courts will not let the president’s remarks slow the case or throw it off track, especially in a courthouse with a quarter-century record of swift terrorism prosecutions with mostly airtight outcomes.
“Nothing slows down the train,” said James Cohen, a professor at Fordham Law School. He said the yet-to-be-assigned judge will question prospective jurors to ensure they can be fair despite anything they might have heard or read.