Quantcast
Connect with us

Charleston church massacre trial delayed as prosecutors consider death penalty for Dylann Roof

Published

on

A judge on Tuesday granted U.S. prosecutors’ request for trial delay as it considers whether to seek the death penalty for a white man accused of killing nine parishioners last summer at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, in what prosecutors say was a hate crime.

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel urged the federal government to make a decision soon on whether they would pursue the death penalty for Dylann Roof, 22, who plans to plead guilty if he will not be facing the possibility of execution. Gergel said he could set a trial date at some point in the interest of a speedy trial.

ADVERTISEMENT

“There are victims here,” Gergel said. “They have a right to put this behind them.”

Roof, who faces 33 federal hate crime and firearms charges, is accused of opening fire during a June 17 Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in a crime that sparked a fierce social debate about race and gun control in the United States.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Richardson said he understood the Justice Department deliberations on whether to seek the death penalty for Roof had reached the desk of U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who will announce the decision.

“This is obviously a very important decision and one that’s being taken quite deliberately,” Richardson said.

Roof’s attorney, David Bruck, said if the death penalty is ruled out, there would be no need for a trial because Roof would plead guilty.

ADVERTISEMENT

Gergel also had delayed Roof’s trial in February at the request of his defense, which needed more time to prepare. The Justice Department also was still considering the death penalty.

The Justice Department declined further comment on Tuesday.

Some family members of victims and a survivor of the shootings attended Tuesday’s hearing but Roof did not.

ADVERTISEMENT

Roof had been linked to white supremacist views and Lynch has said the federal charges against him are based on evidence he targeted his victims because of their race, obstructing their exercise of religion.

South Carolina prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Roof when he is scheduled to go on trial for murder on July 11.

ADVERTISEMENT

In a related case, defense attorneys and prosecutors said they could be ready by mid-summer for the trial of Roof’s friend, Joseph Meek, charged with concealing knowledge of a crime and lying to an FBI agent after the shooting. A trial date was not set.

(Additional reporting by Julia Edwards in Washington; Editing by Letitia Stein and Bill Trott)


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

CNN

West Virginia senator slams Trump’s postmaster general for threatening post office closures in rural areas

Published

on

On CNN Monday, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) laid into Louis DeJoy, the controversial GOP megadonor just appointed to serve as President Donald Trump's postmaster general amid fears he will try to sabotage the Postal Service for personal gain or to block mail-in votes.

"There is talk, Senator, of the Post Office being told to cut back on deliveries or change the way they operate," said anchor John Berman. "This in the middle of the pandemic. This with an election 90 some days away. What does that say to you?"

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump pal stunned by president’s trainwreck interview with Axios: I cringed, I despaired and then I felt angry

Published

on

In an op-ed published at The Daily Mail this Tuesday, Piers Morgan gave his thoughts on President Trump's recent interview with Axios, saying it was a moment where the whole world could finally see the true character of Trump.

"For President Donald J. Trump, there have been many grim moments during his catastrophic handling of the coronavirus pandemic that may end up defining his presidency," Morgan wrote.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Neighbors accuse Black woman of ‘driving down’ property values with Black Lives Matter sign

Published

on

A Black woman in New York said that she was accused of "driving down" property values because a sign supporting Black Lives Matter was displayed in the window of her home.

The story was shared by Twitter user @pivyak, who said the incident occurred in Oswego after her sister painted a sign in the home's front window. The sign reads, "Silence supports police violence."

In an anonymous letter, self-described "neighbors" complained that they could not sell their homes for the "best price" because of the sign.

"We believe you've made your point," the letter states. "As tensions rise in our city, home is the safe and quiet place we wanted to return to after being at work. We want to come home to a beautiful street where neighbors care and support one another."

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage. Help us deliver it. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image