Convicted church shooter wants new fed­eral trial

Cape Breton Post - - WORLD -

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Convicted Charleston church shooter Dy­lann Roof has asked for a new fed­eral trial, say­ing pros­e­cu­tors didn’t have ju­ris­dic­tion to bring their case against him. Roof’s at­tor­neys made that re­quest Fri­day, claim­ing the gov­ern­ment failed to prove his use of the in­ter­net, high­ways and a gun man­u­fac­tured out of state were suf­fi­cient enough links to al­low re­li­gious ob­struc­tion charges. Roof, 22, was sen­tenced to die ear­lier this year for killing nine black mem­bers of Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church in June 2015. In a video­taped con­fes­sion to FBI agents, Roof ad­mit­ted to his role in the killings and told ju­rors in his clos­ing ar­gu­ment that he still felt com­pelled to com­mit them. In the mo­tion, Roof’s at­tor­neys ar­gued his case hap­pened en­tirely in South Carolina and in­volved only “in­ci­den­tal and ev­ery­day use’’ of ar­eas af­fected by the com­merce clause, like the in­ter­net or pur­chases from an­other state. The ar­gu­ment mir­rors ones made by Roof’s at­tor­neys dur­ing his trial. U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel over­ruled those chal­lenges and al­lowed all of the charges against Roof to stand. Roof had at­tor­neys dur­ing his trial but fired them dur­ing the sen­tenc­ing phase, avoid­ing po­ten­tial ev­i­dence about his men­tal state that he didn’t want made pub­lic at trial.

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