Dylann Roof’s Request For Bench Trial Denied

On June 17, 2015, Dylann killed-by-darynn-roof-we-remember3Roof staged a massacre at the Emanuel AME Church during Bible study.  Among those who killed were Pastor Clementa Pinckney.  Roof has been charged under South Carolina law where prosecutors seek the death penalty.  He has also been charged under federal law.

Roof, 22-years old, is charged with murder and attempted murder on the state level.  Federal prosecutors have charged Roof with 33 counts, including hate crimes, obstruction of religion, and firearms offenses.

On June 7, 2016, federal Judge Richard M. Gergel scheduled Roof’s trial to begin on a November 7, 2016.  The trial is estimated to take about 6 weeks. The judge turned down an earlier request by the South Carolina prosecutor, Scarlett A. Wilson, to allow the state’s trial to go forth first.  It is scheduled for January, 2017.  Jury selection in the state trial is due to start in early December, which could overlap with the federal proceedings.

To select 12 impartial jurors, Judge Gergel planned to have 1,500 prospective jurors called statewide for jury duty.  Jury selection includes 12 and 6 alternates.  Roof’s attorneys filed a document that Roof will waive his right to a trial by jury.  The filing does not give a reason for why Roof wants to waive a trial by jury. 

Federal prosecutors have to agree with the motion, and have said that they will not consent to waive a jury at either stage of the case.  Trial to determine guilty of innocence is one stage.  If found guilty, sentencing is another stage.


Dylann Roof in court

­Today, U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel denied Roof’s request for a bench trial.  He also ordered that jurors will hear arguments on a possible death sentence for Dylann Roof if he’s convicted of capital crimes in his federal trial.

Roof’s defense attorney David Bruck said that Roof is willing to offer a plea of guilty if federal prosecutors take capital punishment off the table.

Being charged at the state and federal levels reminds of the Timothy McVeigh trial.  McVeigh was charged with 8 counts for the deaths of federal employees in what is commonly called the Oklahoma City bombing.  Oklahoma charged McVeigh with 160 counts of murder. Because McVeigh was convicted and sentenced to death, the State of Oklahoma did not proceed on the murder charges for the other 160 deaths.



Posted on 06/14/2016, in Cases, Emmanuel 9 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. I happened to see the church front memorial in Charleston… It was a testament to showing love beats hate….

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hey Juan! So I heard. As you probably know, I’m against the death penalty. If the feds will agree to Roof’s plea and life in prison with no chance of parole, they would save the court much time.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I think that would be showing Roof a hell of a lot more compassion than he showed his victims.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Mindyme,
          That is true. But many serving life in prison are not shown any compassion by other inmates and staff. If sentenced to life, Roof will spend everyday in survival mode.

          Richard Speck was first sentenced to death, then to life in prison. Twenty-five years later, he died of a heart attack.

          Jeffrey Dahmer was sentenced to life in prison in 1992. He spent a year in solitary confinement. In 1994, he was beaten to death by another prisoner.

          Albert DeSalvo, the Boston Strangler, was sentenced to life in 1967. In 1973, he was found in the prison infirmary stabbed to death.

          So many other prisoners serving life died from disease or committed suicide. Everyday of their sentence, they get a chance to remember why they are there.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. yahtzeebutterfly

    “Charleston honors the Emanuel Nine with memorial events”


    June 17 marks one year since the death of nine parishioners at Charleston’s Emanuel AME church. Events to commemorate the lives of the Emanuel Nine are taking place throughout the Holy City next week, some even started earlier this month. These walks, concerts, exhibitions, and discussions will both honor and celebrate the lives lost and will look at the city’s past, present, and future, in hopes of creating a greater sense of both unity, and change.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. In cases like this one where there is no doubt of who the shooter is, once he is convicted the relatives of those he gunned down should get to shoot him via a firing squad the same day the verdict is given.


  4. Reblogged this on Truth Troubles: Why people hate the truths' of the real world and commented:
    (The families of these people who this punk murdered should get to line him up against the court house wall and shoot him down like a rabid dog.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oldpoet,
      Thanks for the reblog, dear friend.

      When the families spoke at Roof’s arraignment,they spoke in words of forgiveness and against hate. I’ve not yet read anything about them giving a statement on the death penalty.


  5. Mr. Militant Negro

    Reblogged this on The Militant Negro™.

    Liked by 1 person

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