Appellate court arguments set for Charleston church shooter

U.S. Supreme Court News

Attorneys for the man sentenced to federal death row for the racist slayings of nine members of a Black South Carolina congregation are set to formally argue that his conviction and death sentence should be overturned.

Oral arguments have been set for May 25 before the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Dylann Roof, according to federal court records.

In 2017, Roof became the first person in the U.S. sentenced to death for a federal hate crime. Authorities have said Roof opened fire during the closing prayer of a 2015 Bible study session at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, raining down dozens of bullets on those assembled.

Serving as his own attorney in the sentencing phase of his trial, the self-avowed white supremacist neither fought for his life nor explained his actions, remorse, saying only that “anyone who hates anything in their mind has a good reason for it.”

Roof’s 2017 appeal to the 4th Circuit  came as no surprise, as transcripts of hearings to determine his trial competency revealed that Roof told his lawyers he’d seek appeals to drag his case out as long as he could. With the passage of time, Roof explained, he expected white supremacists to take over the U.S., pardon him for the killings and make him governor of South Carolina.

Following his federal death penalty trial, Roof was given nine consecutive life sentences after he pleaded guilty in 2017 to state murder charges, leaving him to await execution in a federal prison and sparing his victims and their families the burden of a second trial.

After that sentencing, Solicitor Scarlett Wilson ? who had also been pursuing the death penalty ? called the deal “an insurance policy for the federal conviction,” ensuring that Roof would spend the rest of his life in prison, should the federal sentence not stand.

Wilson also said that she felt more confident a federal death sentence would be carried out under the newly minted Trump administration that it would have been under a Democratic one. At the time, there was anticipation that then-President Donald Trump might swiftly resume federal executions, following cessation of the practice under several several previous administrations.

Trump’s decision to reinstate federal executions didn’t come until 2020, however, when his Justice Department ended a 17-year hiatus, going on to oversee a total of 13 federal executions. Due to his remaining appeals, Roof’s case was not eligible for execution at that time.

Related listings

  • New Mexico governor appoints judge to court of appeals

    New Mexico governor appoints judge to court of appeals

    U.S. Supreme Court News 03/21/2021

    New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has appointed a judge to the state Court of Appeals to fill a vacancy created by Justice Julie J. Vargas’ appointment to the state Supreme Court.The state’s 4th Judicial District Chief Judge Gerald E...

  • Colorado court: Speed-reading bills violates constitution

    Colorado court: Speed-reading bills violates constitution

    U.S. Supreme Court News 03/15/2021

    The Colorado Supreme Court has ruled that state Senate Democrats violated the constitution in 2019 when they responded to Republicans’ request that bills be read at length by having computers speed-read the bills in an intelligible garble.The C...

  • Drug trafficker says he bribed Honduras president

    Drug trafficker says he bribed Honduras president

    U.S. Supreme Court News 03/11/2021

    A convicted Honduran drug trafficker and former leader of a cartel testified in United States federal court Thursday that he paid now-President Juan Orlando Hernández $250,000 for protection from arrest in 2012.Devis Leonel Rivera Maradiaga, f...

Our goal is to serve you and make your experience a pleasant one

Whether you're facing a specific legal issue or have questions that only an attorney can properly answer, a lawyer from the Law Office of Rita O. White is here to help. At our Plymouth Canton firm, we work hard to support our clients no matter the situation at hand.

Rita White, who owns and manages the Law Office of Rita O White, PLLC, is a metro Detroit area attorney with a focus on criminal defense, probate, and family law. In practice for nearly 13 years, she has litigated hundreds of criminal & civil cases involving murders, child welfare, juvenile, divorce, robberies, drug trafficking, child support and financial crimes.

Our Plymouth Canton lawyers understand that looming legal issues can be stressful and overwhelming. That's why we believe in giving clients our full attention and treating them with care and respect. When you work with us, you'll get the benefit of Knowledgeable lawyers, Convenient office hours, Reasonable attorney fees. Attempting to tackle a legal matter on your own can end up negatively impacting the outcome of your situation. Why risk such repercussions when our dedicated lawyers are on hand to offer guidance when you need it the most? To set up an appointment or learn more about our