Dylann Roof the man on trial for killing 9 people at a Charleston has gone back on an earlier request to represent himself at his trial by asking to have legal counsel again. In a hand written note to the judge. Roof asked that he have counsel returned for the guilt phase only.
Roof who is 22 is on trial for the murders of 9 people at a Charleston church in June of 2015. The attack was racially motivated. Roof has been found to be an author of a manifesto against African Americans and other minority groups.
The original decision to remove legal counsel was granted after the judge in the case had deemed Roof competent of making the decision, but had also warned the defendant that it was “strategically unwise”. He also offered Roof the chance to reinstate counsel if he chose to. Which he now has but only for the “guilty” part of the trial. He still intends to represent himself at his sentencing.
Roof has so far maintained his innocence in the case, but has offered to plead guilty if the death penalty is not the punishment. Prosecutors have rejected the request. As it’s believed that they feel that the penalty is the only one suitable for such a horrific crime.
Many will be relived that in the beginning of the trial Roof will not be able to question survivors of the attack, who will be called as witnesses to the attack. It is also unclear as to whether Roof may have a mental illness, and as to whether that will come in to play. Many would argue that Roof’s behaviour is of someone trying to hide a mental illness from being a fact of the case, and why he is so vehemently against being represented by appropriate legal counsel.
The trial is scheduled to begin this week after the jury selection process is finished, it is believed that with no complications the trial should begin on Wednesday.
Joseph is a 34 year old freelance writer from London. He has a wide interest in politics and specialises in the subject. He's also a blog writer in his spare time.