Columbia, South Carolina (AP) — Black South Carolina A man in federal death row for the racist killing of nine members of the South Carolina congregation overturns his conviction and death sentence. I have appealed that it should be.
The oral argument in the case of Dylann Roof will be held on Tuesday in front of a panel of three judges at the 4th US Court of Appeals based in Richmond, Virginia. Appeal judge Jay Richardson, who has filed a proceeding in Roof as an assistant federal prosecutor, is not part of the panel.
In 2017, Roof became the first person in the United States Death sentence For federal hate crimes. Officials said the roof fired during the closing prayer of the 2015 Bible Study Group at Mother Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, dropping dozens of bullets at the gathered people. At that time, the roof was 21 years old.
In a long brief explanation, Roof’s lawyer argued that the Court of Appeals should either revoke Roof’s conviction and death sentence or remand his case to the court for “appropriate performance evaluation.” doing.
“The federal trial that led to his death row deviated significantly from the standards needed when the government sought a final price that could not be affirmed,” they wrote, the mental illness of their clients was him. A lawyer sent to the federal death row cell during part of a trial that claimed that he should have prevented him from working as himself.
Judge Richard Gergel of the US District Court held two competency hearings on the roof. One before the start of the trial and the other before the decision stage, he decided whether Roof could act as his lawyer in that part of the trial. His appeal team said, “Although all defense experts agreed that the roof suffered from the delusional belief that it would be saved by the winner of the race war, the court mistakenly competed with the roof. I wrote that it was judged to be .. “.
Roof passed the sentence and succeeded in preventing the jury from hearing palliative evidence of his mental health “under delusion,” his lawyer wrote. Mental illness from public records. “
In that part of the trial, the self-proclaimed white supremacist did not fight for his life or explain his actions, saying, “Anyone who hates something in their hearts has a good reason for it. There is. “
His lawyer said that this resulted in a “complete collapse” of possible defenses, and the jury “darkness” about the past details of the roof that could have been used to mitigate the government’s “death inflammation case.” Was left behind. “
Following his federal trial, the roof was given 9 consecutive life imprisonments After pleading guilty to murder in 2017, he awaited execution in federal prison, saving victims and their families the burden of a second trial.
After that sentence, Solicitor Scarlet Wilson, who was also pursuing the death penalty, called the deal “an insurance policy against a federal conviction,” and Roof sentenced him to life imprisonment if the federal decision was not passed. Guaranteed to do.
Wilson also said he was more confident that the federal death sentence would be sentenced under the newly appointed Trump administration than under the democratic administration. At the time, then-President Donald Trump expected that federal executions could be resumed quickly, following the suspension of executions under several previous administrations.
Trump’s decision to revive the federal death penalty was not made until 2020, but his Justice Department continued to oversee a total of 13 federal death sentences after a 17-year hiatus. Due to his remaining appeal, Roof’s proceeding was not eligible for enforcement at that time.
President Joe Biden, who said he would work as a candidate to end the federal execution, did not speak publicly about the death penalty, but White House spokesman Jen Psaki said in March that he was “gravely concerned.” He said he continues to have. .. The president could instruct the Justice Department not to execute the death penalty during his presidency.
If he fails Direct 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, Roof may request what is known as the 2255 Appeal, or the Court of First Instance to consider his conviction and the constitutionality of the judgment. He could also petition the US Supreme Court or seek the president’s amnesty.
Megkinard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP..