A federal judge granted accused Emanuel AME Church shooter Dylann Roof the opportunity to represent himself during the trial in Charleston, South Carolina, CNN reports.
The cable news outlet reports that Roof will be allowed to help with the selection of jurors. According to The Post and Courier, Roof can now question family members of the very people he’s accused of slaughtering at the historic Black church in an outright act of racial hatred against Blacks, reports say.
Last week, U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel ruled Roof was competent to stand trial after halting jury selection for his mental evaluation. On Monday, jury selection resumed, but was postponed again after Roof asked to represent himself.
According to WISTV, Gergel warned Roof that it would be in his best interest to have legal representation, but approved Roof’s request and resumed jury selection.
“I do find defendant has the personal capacity to self-representation,” Gergel said according to The Post and Courier. “I continue to believe it is strategically unwise, but it is a decision you have the right to make.”
The cable news outlet reports that Roof also will allow his former counsel to sit in on the trial.
Roof faces 33 federal counts, including hate crime charges for the June 17, 2015 shooting, which left nine Black parishioners dead. If found guilty, he faces the death penalty.
A state trial will begin in January, in which Roof faces separate murder charges.
SOURCE: CNN, The Post and Courier, WISTV
Dylann Roof Trial: Federal Judge Resumes Jury Selection After Initial Delay
Dylann Roof: Jury Selection Begins In Charleston Church Shooting Federal Trial
20 Pictures That Show The Powerful Resilience Of Charleston’s Mother Emanuel AME Church
20 photos Launch gallery
1. Mother Emanuel AME Church held its first service since the shooting death of nine African-American church members on June 17.
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2. People line up to enter for Sunday service at the Emanuel AME Church.
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3. Two children wait to enter the Emanuel AME Church June 21, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina.
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4. A member of the church is seen outside of Emanuel AME before its first service since the Charleston shooting.
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5. A Charleston County sheriff’s deputy checks bags as people line up to enter for Sunday service at the Emanuel AME Church.
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6. Gloria Moore watches the church as parishioners take their seats at the Emanuel AME Church.
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7. A woman prays as she attends the Sunday service outside of the Emanuel AME Church.
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8. People pray and listen to the Sunday service outside of the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
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9. Parishioners sit at Emanuel AME Church four days after a mass shooting that claimed the lives of its pastor and eight others.
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10. The Rev. Norvel Goff, right, prays at the empty seat of the Rev. Clementa Pinckney.
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11. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, R-S.C., embraces U.S. Sen Tim Scott, R-S.C., at Emanuel AME Church.
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12. A parishioner prays at the empty seat of the Rev. Clementa Pinckney at the Emanuel AME Church.
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13. The congregation departs following Sunday services at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
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14. A family is seen leaving Emanuel AME Church following Sunday services.
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15. People embrace as they depart the Emanuel AME Church following Sunday services.
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16. Church members comfort one another after Emanuel’s first service since the Charleston shooting.
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17. Church members comfort one another outside of Emanuel.
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18. A mother and son surround a memorial for the nine church members killed during the Charleston shooting.
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19. Charleston natives comfort each other during the church’s first service since the shooting on June 17.
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20. Activist DeRay McKesson is seen outside of Emanuel AME church.
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