The white supremacist who murdered nine Black churchgoers at the historic Mother Emanuel church in Charleston, South Carolina, is appealing his conviction and death sentence, with his lawyers saying that he was too mentally ill when he represented himself at trial.
He was ultimately sentenced to death, after about three hours of deliberation by the jury.
Federal public defenders are now arguing that Roof was a “22-year-old, ninth-grade dropout diagnosed with schizophrenia spectrum disorder, autism, anxiety, and depression, who believed his sentence didn’t matter because white nationalists would free him from prison after an impending race war.”
“Roof’s crime was tragic, but this Court can have no confidence in the jury’s verdict,” lawyers insisted in the appeal.
Back in Nov. 2016, a federal judge ruled that Roof was competent to stand trial for the murders