Judges are refusing to hear Dylann Roof’s appeal in the 2015 church shooting.
According to the Associated Press, judges on an appeals court will not hear Dylann Roof’s appeal of his conviction and death sentence in the racially motivated 2015 massacre at a Black church in South Carolina.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to reconsider its decision to recuse itself from Roof’s appeal on Tuesday. The 4th Circuit judges who oversee South Carolina have all recused themselves from the case.
Roof’s plea for a fresh hearing was denied, as was his request for a full court of substitute judges from different circuits to hear his case. Roof’s lawyers demanded that the judges who had elected to sit out the case be reinstated to hear the petition.
Roof’s attorneys claimed that “no judges exist to evaluate” his rehearing petition, denying him “a fundamental level of appellate review.”
See the list below for more Associated Press reporting.
Although one of the judges, Jay Richardson, prosecuted Roof’s case as an assistant US attorney in 2017, when Roof became the first person in the US to be sentenced to death for a federal hate crime, there was no particular justification stated for the recusals in a May notification.
Roof allegedly opened fire during a Bible study’s final prayer at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, showering down dozens of bullets on all there. He was 21 years old at the time.
Roof’s appeal was reviewed in May by a panel of justices from various appellate circuits, who unanimously upheld his conviction and death sentence, as well as issuing a stinging condemnation of Roof’s acts, which the judges said “qualified him for the heaviest penalty that a decent society can impose.”
Roof’s attorneys claim he was improperly permitted to represent himself during his sentence. Roof’s defenders claim that he successfully stopped jurors from hearing information concerning his mental health because he was “under the delusion” that “white-nationalists would rescue him from prison—but only if he kept his mental-impairments out of the public record.” According to court filings filed in a separate federal case, the FBI overheard two members of a neo-Nazi gang discussing attempting to escape Roof from a maximum-security prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, giving specifics on the plot. This is a condensed version of the information.