Church shoot­ing de­fen­dant eases into role as own at­tor­ney

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION+WORLD -

The white man pros­e­cu­tors ac­cuse of gun­ning down nine black parish­ioners in a bid to start a race war showed no signs of a racial agenda Tues­day, tak­ing a calm, busi­nesslike ap­proach to se­lect­ing a jury that would ul­ti­mately de­cide whether he’s put to death.

A judge ruled this week that Dy­lann Roof could be­gin rep­re­sent­ing him­self in his fed­eral trial on dozens of charges — in­clud­ing hate crimes and ob­struc­tion of re­li­gion — for the June 2015 mass shoot­ing at a South Carolina church.

Against his at­tor­neys’ ad­vice, Roof sought and won the judge’s ap­proval Mon­day to act as his own at­tor­ney. The de­fen­dant gave no rea­son ex­cept the con­sti­tu­tional pro­vi­sion gov­ern­ing de­fen­dants’ right to a speedy trial.

With his de­fense at­tor­neys de­moted to ad­vis­ers, Roof eased into the role Tues­day of mak­ing ar­gu­ments be­fore the judge as jury se­lec­tion got un­der­way.

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