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
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