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Dylann Roof Asks Appeals Court for Mercy

Image: Dylann Roof Asks Appeals Court for Mercy

In this handout photo provided by the Charleston County Sheriff's Office Detention Center, Dylann Storm Roof is seen in his booking photo after he was apprehended as the main suspect in the mass shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church that killed nine people on June 18, 2015, in Charleston, South Carolina. (Charleston County Sheriff's Office via Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 24 May 2017 08:30 AM

Dylann Roof has asked the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for mercy in an attempt to overturn his conviction and death sentence in connection with the killing of nine black worshippers at a Charleston church in 2015.

Roof's new appeal filed Tuesday did not include an argument and was expected to be the last by attorneys who attempted to defend the white supremacist at his trial, the Charleston Post and Courier reported. A new set of public defenders is expected to help Roof during the appeals process, which will likely last years.

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel rejected Roof's first appeal earlier this month, The Associated Press reported.

During his January trial, Roof squabbled with his attorneys before deciding to defend himself during the sentencing phase of the trial, the AP noted. The attorneys wanted to work mental health-related evidence into the first phase of his trial, saying that Roof feared that attorneys would present evidence that would embarrass him when trying to save his life, the news service said.

He was found guilty in December on 33 federal charges, including hate crimes and obstruction of the practice of religion in the June 17, 2015, attack at Emanuel AME Church, the Post and Courier noted. A jury decided in January that he should be executed.

Columbia's The State newspaper reported in April that Roof feared that he would be "discredited" if he was found mentally ill, according to previously sealed documents connected with Gergel's finding that Roof was fit to stand trial.

"He hoped that one day there would be a white-nationalist revolution and that if he was diagnosed as mentally ill or defective, his acts in furtherance of that desired revolution would be discredited, and his reputation as a 'perfect specimen' would be destroyed," Gergel wrote in a previously secret Nov. 25 court document, citing a court-appointed psychiatrist in his ruling that Roof could stand trial.

Roof is currently serving out his federal death sentence in Indiana, but the Post and Courier pointed out that it has been 14 years since the last federal prisoner has been put to death as the government reviews its execution procedures.

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Dylann Roof has asked the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for mercy in an attempt to overturn his conviction and death sentence in connection with the killing of nine black worshippers at a Charleston church in 2015.
dylann roof, appeals, court, mercy
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2017-30-24
Wednesday, 24 May 2017 08:30 AM
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