Up next for Roof: 2nd trial, long death row wait

The Progress-Index - - NATION&WORLD - By Jef­frey Collins

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Dy­lann Roof’s death sen­tence this week for killing nine black church mem­bers ends one chap­ter in his case, but it’s far from over. Roof has in­di­cated he will ap­peal his fed­eral pun­ish­ment and there are nine mur­der charges loom­ing in state court. Mon­u­ments and memo­ri­als to those slain at Emanuel AME in June 2015 are also planned.

An­other trial?

State pros­e­cu­tors charged Roof with nine counts of mur­der and prose­cu­tor Scar­lett Wil­son de­clared her in­ten­tion to seek the death penalty months be­fore fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors.

But the feds jumped to the front of the line, even af­ter Wil­son asked a judge to let her go first.

The state trial was sup­posed to start Jan. 17, but was in­def­i­nitely post­poned be­cause of the on­go­ing fed­eral trial. Wil­son hasn’t dis­cussed the case at length in re­cent months and didn’t re­turn mes­sages this week from The As­so­ci­ated Press.

Fed­eral ap­peals

There will likely be ap­peals for years to come, in part be­cause Roof was sen­tenced to die. Im­me­di­ately af­ter he was sen­tenced Tues­day, Roof asked for new lawyers to file his pa­per­work and was de­nied. He in­di­cated he plans to fight his con­vic­tion and has a month to file an ap­peal.

Roof’s lawyers have con­sis­tently pointed out he was will­ing to plead guilty if the death penalty was taken off the ta­ble, which would have se­verely lim­ited any ap­peals.

Fam­ily re­ac­tion

Most fam­ily mem­bers of vic­tims said they were so wrapped up in the emo­tion­ally drain­ing fed­eral trial that they haven’t had any chance to be­gin think­ing about the pos­si­bil­ity of an­other ex­haust­ing month or more in a court­room.

“This has torn me up. I don’t know if I can do it again,” said Melvin Gra­ham, brother of vic­tim Cyn­thia Hurd.

Roof

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