Attorneys for Charleston Church Shooter Dylann Roof say the federal case on Roof is “unconstitutional”.
On Tuesday, July 7, lawyers filed a motion, claiming that the federal government had no right to prosecute Dylann Roof, a killer of nine Black people, including senior pastor and state senator Clementa C. Pinckney, during an evening prayer service. Roof’s lawyers also claim the federal case against him “violates his 13th Amendment rights and the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment”.
One of Roof’s lawyers, Sarah Gannett, argued that “the charges at issue are extremely grave, but under the Constitution, they are not properly charged. The defendant, therefore, requests that the indictment be dismissed.”
The 22-year-old Dylann Roof, who admitted to being guilty, was charged with 35 federal hate crimes in September last year and was to be sentenced to death. Roof’s federal trial was scheduled for November 7, a day before presidential elections.
Early June, Roof opted for a bench trial, according to reports.
Attorneys David Bruck and Michael O’Connell filed a motion that stated, “Pursuant to this order, the defendant hereby states that he is willing to waive jury, and to be tried and sentenced by the court.” But the possibility that the government will grant the attorneys’ request is next to zero.
One thing Roof’s attorneys are forgetting is that killing those innocent men and women was “an attempt to provoke a civil war”. Roof’s sentence should be fast-tracked and he should be trialed for the hate crime in order to everyone to understand that hate will not remain unpunished.
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