Charleston Church Gunman Appeals Death Sentence, Conviction

(CN) – Dylann Roof on Tuesday asked the Fourth Circuit to overturn his conviction and death sentence stemming from his murder of nine black worshipers in a racist attack on a Charleston, South Carolina church in 2015.

Roof’s appeal was expected, especially after U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel denied the gunman’s request for a new trial earlier this month.

Gergel said the trial record showed Roof acted deliberately in planning and carrying out the murders, and had shown no remorse for his actions during his trial.

Therefore, his conviction and death sentence for the massacre that occurred during the closing prayer of the Bible study class at the Emanuel AME Church should stand, the judge said.

Roof argued during his trial that it shouldn’t be held in federal court because his crime didn’t fit the definition of interstate commerce.

He reasoned that because he bought the murder weapon and bullets in South Carolina, and traveled within the state to shoot the parishioners, he should only be tried in state court.

Recently released court documents and videos made accessible to the press capture some of Roof’s strategy.

He evidently firmly believes that he’ll never be executive because white supremacists will take over the United States and come to his rescue.

He told his lawyers that until that happens he intends to use the appellate process to drag his case out and stay alive.

Once he’s free, he said, he expect these same white supremacists to pardon him for his crimes and make him the governor of South Carolina.

At one point during Roof’s trial, defense attorney David Bruck told Gergel his client had “no intention of waiving his appeals because this will give enough time for the world to turn upside down.”

Roof was transferred to federal death row in Terre Haute, Indiana earlier this year. No date has been set for his execution.

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