A judge has approved a questionable request from the gunman who claimed the lives of nine Black church members when he opened fire during an Emanuel AME Church bible study session in Charleston, South Carolina last June, according to CNN.
After recently being declared competent enough to stand trial, 22-year-old white supremacist Dylann Roof has now been granted the option to represent himself in the upcoming trial, in which he faces 33 federal charges, including several connected to a direct violation of The Hate Crime Act. In accordance with the motion’s approval, Roof will also be allowed to object to potential jurors he feels are not fit to serve on the jury that will ultimately decide his fate. Jurors called into question by the state or Roof will reportedly be asked to leave the courtroom.
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Roof also faces nine counts of additional charges – including murder – in a separate state case for which a trial will begin in January. If convicted of the federal charges, he could face the death penalty.