Dylann Roof, the White supremacist convicted of killing nine Black parishioners during bible study at Emanuel AME Church in June 2015, has decided to forgo calling any witnesses or produce any evidence in his defense during the upcoming penalty phase, according to The Post and Courier.
Roof, 22, announced his decision during a Wednesday morning hearing in front of U.S. Federal Judge Richard Gergel, who presides over the trial.
Roof also refused to allow any medical experts to testify in regards to his wellness, because he believes psychology is a “Jewish invention.”
“‘It is a Jewish invention and does nothing but invent diseases and tell people they have problems when they don’t,’ Roof wrote in a journal that was retrieved by investigators,” according to The Hill.
During the hearing, Roof re-affirmed his intentions to represent himself during the penalty phase––to which Gergel replied, “You know my feeling on this. I think it’s a bad idea.”
The Post and Courier reports Gergel will give Roof until the beginning of the penalty hearing to speak with his grandfather and former counsel before accepting the decision. Sentencing proceedings will resume on January 3.
The jury is expected to hear from both sides before making the decision between passing down a death sentence or life in prison. According to The Post, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Richardson told Judge Gergel the prosecution holds a list of more than 30 potential witnesses, and discussed plans to call forth the lead FBI agent assigned to the investigation.
Roof was convicted of 33 federal counts on December 15. He will also stand trial for murder in state court.
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