A MAN charged with killing eight people in a Halloween attack on a New York City bike path is willing to plead guilty if he is spared the death penalty, his lawyers have said.

The lawyers told US District Judge Vernon S Broderick that the families of victims and the public can be spared a drawn-out legal process if Attorney General Jeff Sessions decides not to seek the death penalty for Sayfullo Saipov.

Authorities say the resident of Paterson, New Jersey, was inspired by Daesh when he mowed people down in rented vehicle.

He has pleaded not guilty and remains held without bail.

“In short, a decision by the government not to seek the death penalty would bring immediate closure to the case without the need for the public and victims to repeatedly relive the terrible events of October 31, 2017,” the district judge was told in a letter signed by David Patton, executive director of the Federal Defenders of New York.

If the government seeks death, the lawyers said a trial should occur no earlier than September 2019 because of the large volume of evidence and the need to build a defence with information to be gathered halfway around the globe.

Authorities say Daesh group propaganda was found on mobile phones belonging to Saipov, who moved to the United States legally in 2010 from Uzbekistan.

Prosecutors asked that a trial be set for April 2019.