December 3, 2021

Dylann Roof appeal 2021: Charleston church shooter’s death sentence upheld

RICHMOND, Va. — A federal appeals courtroom on Wednesday upheld the conviction and sentence of a person on federal death row for the 2015 racist slayings of 9 members of a Black South Carolina congregation.

A 3-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Courtroom of Appeals in Richmond affirmed Dylann Roof’s conviction and sentence within the shootings at Mom Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.

In 2017, Roof grew to become the primary individual within the U.S. sentenced to death for a federal hate crime. Authorities have stated Roof opened fireplace through the closing prayer of a Bible research on the church, raining down dozens of bullets on these assembled. He was 21 on the time.

In his appeal, Roof’s attorneys argued that he was wrongly allowed to characterize himself throughout sentencing, a important part of his trial. Roof efficiently prevented jurors from listening to proof about his psychological well being, “under the delusion,” his attorneys argued, that “he would be rescued from prison by white-nationalists – but only, bizarrely, if he kept his mental-impairments out of the public record.”

Roof’s legal professionals stated his convictions and death sentence must be vacated or his case must be despatched again to courtroom for a “proper competency evaluation.”

The 4th Circuit discovered that the trial choose didn’t commit an error when he discovered Roof was competent to face trial and issued a scathing rebuke of Roof’s crimes.

“Dylann Roof murdered African Americans at their church, during their Bible-study and worship. They had welcomed him. He slaughtered them. He did so with the express intent of terrorizing not just his immediate victims at the historically important Mother Emanuel Church, but as many similar people as would hear of the mass murder,” the panel wrote in is ruling.

“No cold record or careful parsing of statutes and precedents can capture the full horror of what Roof did. His crimes qualify him for the harshest penalty that a just society can impose,” the judges wrote.

The entire judges within the 4th U.S. Circuit Courtroom of Appeals, which covers South Carolina, recused themselves from listening to Roof’s appeal; one in every of their very own, Decide Jay Richardson, prosecuted Roof’s case as an assistant U.S. Lawyer. The panel that heard arguments in Could and issued the ruling on Wednesday was comprised of judges from a number of different appellate circuits.

Following his federal trial, Roof was given 9 consecutive life sentences after pleading responsible in 2017 to state homicide costs, leaving him to await execution in a federal jail and sparing his victims and their households the burden of a second trial.


Kinnard reported from Houston.