Category Archives: AME shootings
ABC reports that Dylann Roof, who was convicted for murdering 9 people in Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church in June 2015, has asked for a new federal trial. Roof was sentenced to death. Roof’s argument is that federal prosecutors lacked jurisdiction to bring their case against him.
Represented by attorneys, they claim that the federal government failed to prove that Roof’s use of the internet, the highways, and a gun manufactured out of state, were sufficient links to allow religious obstruction charges. A similar argument was made in July 2016 as a part of Roof’s plea bargain that if the government took the death penalty off the table, that he would plea guilty as charged. The court denied Roof’s motion.
A federal grand jury found that Roof violated subsections of federal law 18 U.S.C. 247 in that he intentionally obstructed, by force, the enjoyment of free exercise of religious beliefs. That section requires that the circumstances takes place in or affects interstate or foreign commerce.
Roof is currently in custody in the Charleston County jail awaiting trial in state court.
The jury began their deliberations early this afternoon. It did not take them long to decide that Dylann Roof, the murderer of nine people, receive the death penalty.
At closing argument, Roof reminded the jury that its decision must be unanimous. Apparently, he was looking to impress upon just one juror not to sentence him to death.
Also during his closing argument, Roof told the jury, “I still feel like I had to do it.”
It is reported that every member of the jury looked directly at Roof as he spoke for about 5 minutes.
The prosecutor’s closing argument included;
“They welcomed a 13th person that night … with a kind word, a Bible, a handout and a chair,” Richardson said during his closing argument. “He had come with a hateful heart and a Glock .45.”
On December 15, 2016, a jury in Dylann Roof’s federal trial deliberated less than 2 hours, and convicted him on all counts of hate crimes, obstruction of religion and weapons charges. This blog followed the trial.
The same jury panel of nine Whites people and three Blacks reconvened today to decide whether Roof is sentenced to death or life in prison without parole.
Originally scheduled to begin on January 3, 2017, Dylann Roof asked that his sentencing trial be delayed for a day. His reason was because he spent the weekend undergoing a competency evaluation. Federal District Court Judge Gergel has now, twice, found Roof competent to represent himself.
Roof’s competency took focus in his opening statement today when he told the jury;
“The point is I’m not going to lie to you,” Roof said. “There’s nothing wrong with me psychologically.”
Roof also made a statement that he felt betrayed. Coupled with things that he wrote in his journal, it paints the idea that Roof’s desire to murder Blacks was influenced by other White Supremacists who he assumed would do the same. Read the rest of this entry
The jury in Dylann Roof’s federal trial deliberated less than 2 hours, and convicted him on all counts of hate crimes, obstruction of religion and weapons charges.
The panel of nine Whites people and three Blacks will reconvene on January 3, 2017 to decide whether Roof is sentenced to death or life in prison without parole.
Minutes after the verdict was read, Roof told U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel he wanted to represent himself during the penalty phase.
On June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof went to the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina where they were holding Bible Study. He shot and killed 9 people. A manhunt resulted, and Roof was found and arrested in North Carolina. He confessed to the killings.
Roof is an avowed White supremacist who perceived that he had to save the White race from Blacks. He wanted to start a race war. Roof waited until parishioners closed their eyes to pray before firing his Glock .45-caliber pistol. When it was over, Roof had fired more than 70 shots, striking his victims 60 times.
The 22-year old is charged with 12 federal counts of hate crimes, 12 counts of obstructing the exercise of religion, and 9 counts of firearm violations. Federal prosecutors seek the death penalty.
Discarding empty magazines and reloading his weapon, Roof found survivor Polly Sheppard hiding as she prayed. Roof told her to shut up, before asking if she had been shot. Sheppard was then told that she would be left alive so that she could tell others what had occurred. She will likely serve as the final witness for the prosecution in the guilt phase of the trial.
Since he was arrested, there have been numerous pleadings and hearings in the case. To report on each one would be tedious. The most recent included a motion to find Roof mentally incompetent to stand trial. The court denied that motion. The LA Times reports that Judge Gergel found Roof capable of standing trial on the basis that he completed the 9th grade and had an “extremely high IQ” and was able to understand courtroom proceedings. A legal expert however, stated that there is a clear difference between intellectual ability and judgment.
It is not known what type of mental illness or emotional disturbance Roof may or may not have because the hearings were closed to the public.
Roof’s attorneys offered to change Roof’s plea to guilty in exchange for a sentence of life in prison without parole. Federal prosecutors turned down the offer.
Just before jury selection, Roof motioned the judge to release his attorneys. He wanted to represent himself. The judge granted Roof’s motion. After jury selection, Roof asked the judge to rehire his attorneys, but he wants to represent himself during the penalty phase. The judge granted his motion. Read the rest of this entry
Trial started today for the man who murdered 9 Black people in the Emanuel AME Church on June 17, 2015. I’m currently working in getting details about today’s hearings so we can follow the trial.
President Barack Obama delivered the eulogy for the Reverend Clementa Pickney who was among the dead. Rev. Pickney was also a State Senator. He was 41-years old.
Below is the video of the full eulogy. Listening to it gives us an answer as to why Dylann Roof, an avowed White supremacist, selected that church to carry out the murders.
On June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof 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. Read the rest of this entry
By Guest Blogger Yahtzeebutterfly
June 3, 1904 – Physician and medical researcher Charles Drew in Washington, D.C.
June 6, 1939 – Child advocate Marian Wright Edelman in Bennettsville, South Carolina
By Guest Blogger, Yahtzeebutterfly
Rev. Senator Clementa Pinckney was both a strong, inspirational leader and a caring, compassionate servant to his community. It is my hope that he will be remembered in history books and during future Black History Months and also that his legacy will lead others to follow in his path.
Born July 30, 1973, in Beaufort, SC, Pinckney became a pastor at the age of 18 and a state representative at the age of 23. He was 27 when he became a state senator, a position he held until a white supremacist’s bullet took his life on June 17, 2015.
I watched a video where Rev. Pinckney explained to a group visiting the Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston why he chose to be both a pastor and a state legislator:
There are many people who say, “Why would you as a preacher, why would you as a pastor, be involved in public life?” And, I’ve already said it, but I’ll say it again. Our calling is not just within the walls of a congregation, but we are part of the life of the community in which the congregation resides.
Caterpillars, moths, butterflies, and all creatures great and small,
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NEED YOUR PRAYERS AND POSITIVE THOUGHTS
Those of you familiar with our writers and comment participants may have noticed that Towerflower has been absent. She gave me her approval to share this. Whatever your path, whether prayers, positive thoughts or good wishes, she needs them. Her sister and her mom both had strokes on the same day. Her sister is now out of the hospital, but her 89 year-old mother is having problems. Her mom had been taken off blood-thinners in preparation for a surgery, and that is when she had the stroke. She has days of speaking clearly, and days of slurring her speech. There are days when she just sleeps. Please keep towerflower in your thoughts.
I’m not one who talks much about politics. However, I did watch the Democratic debates. In my opinion, it was not a debate as much as an introduction of the candidates. My mind was made-up long ago that I will not vote for Hillary Clinton in the primaries. In 2007-2008, she went dirty against Barack Obama and Sarah Palin used some of that dirt when she campaigned. There is not one Republican candidate I want in the White House. If by chance that Clinton should win the nomination, it will force me to vote for her. Truly, I would prefer looking closely at the Independents, but am afraid that a vote for them will take a vote away from the Democratic candidate.
Well, why should I worry? I’m in Illinois and Illinois always carries the Democratic candidate for president. Read the rest of this entry
If nothing else, it’s a crime of vandalism, the same as anyone would feel having someone put animal ca-ca on their front porch.
In a 16-page federal grand jury indictment, Dylann Roof, the 21-year old who killed 9 people in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, has been indicted on 33 counts of federal charged, including hate crimes, firearms violations, and obstructing the practice of religion.
U.S. Attorney General Lorette Lynch announced the charges yesterday. The federal charges are in addition to the state murder charges. The Justice Department has not decided whether it will seek the death penalty against Roof, nor whether its prosecution will come prior to the state’s case.
South Carolina does not have a state hate-crime law. AG Lynch stated that the federal charges were needed to adequately deal with a defendant that “decided to seek out and murder African-Americans because of their race.” Read the rest of this entry
What’s good Blackbutterfly7? Santiago here, checking in with an any topic discussion thread. Feel free to share your thoughts as to recent events that may or may not have been covered by us recently.
As for myself, it’s been a pretty busy week. Our house has sold and we will be moving out by the end of August. Court took place this week. The defendant entered a plea of not guilty Trial is set for September 8th.
My Soap Box For Today
South Carolina finally did what should have been done years ago in taking down the Confederate Flag. (Really, it should have never been flown after the Civil War.) The flag’s removal has caused some to go off the deep end with their arguments that the flag does not represent oppression and bigotry, but rather their history and southern pride.
As slanted as those claims might be, here is what that flag represents to me. Read the rest of this entry
Renaming the Charleston library she served for 30 years is a fitting tribute to Cynthia Hurd, one of the nine churchgoers killed during the Emanuel AME Church shooting last week.
The Charleston County Council unanimously voted on Thursday to rename the St. Andrews Regional Library the Cynthia Graham Hurd St. Andrews Regional Library, The Post & Courier reports. Hurd worked in the city’s library system from 1990 to 2011, before being given the managerial title at the St. Andrews Regional Library. Her husband Arthur called the commemorative title fitting for the woman who dedicated her life to books and helping others.
“People will look up and see her name and remember her every day,” Arthur Hurd said. “There have been nothing but good things said about her because that’s how she lived her life.”
Hurd was the longest-serving part-time librarian in the county. In a 2003 interview, she said the…
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