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Convicted Murderer Dylann Roof’s Sentencing Hearing

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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

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.  Read the rest of this entry

Silence and Shame after Charleston

The Inglorius Padre Steve's World

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Friends of Padre Steve’s World

I have been amazed over the past couple of days following the terrorist attack committed by Dylann Roof on the pastor and parishioners of Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. What has amazed me is the number of prominent Republican politicians, including a number running for president who are in full denial mode about the motivation of this young man. Not only that, anyone now asserting the truth that this was a racially motivated terrorist attack committed by a White Supremacist who evidently wrote a manifesto on a White Supremacist website, who told his victims “You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.” He confessed to the killings and even said that he almost didn’t go through with them because the people were so nice to him.

Even so prominent Republicans, Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry…

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