A federal judge said on Tuesday he would not allow defense lawyers to present evidence about Dylann Roof’s mental health to jurors weighing his guilt in the June 2015 massacre at a historic church in Charleston, South Carolina.
Roof’s lawyers have not disputed that the avowed white supremacist shot and killed nine black parishioners during a Bible study and asked to call witnesses to testify about his state of mind and personal characteristics.
The motion listing the witnesses was sealed. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Richardson, who said in court they included a police officer and someone with whom Roof had a business interaction, objected to the proposed testimony as “self-serving hearsay” and “justification.”
U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel ruled that such evidence must wait until the penalty phase, when prosecutors plan to seek a death sentence.
The defense is hoping jurors will spare Roof, 22, from execution. He has indicated he will represent himself during the trial’s sentencing phase.
Roof is not asserting an insanity defense and was found competent to stand trial on federal charges of hate crimes resulting in death, obstruction of religion and firearms violations, Gergel noted in a written order on Monday.
He is scheduled to stand trial in state court early next year on murder charges for the massacre.
Tuesday marked the fifth day of testimony in the federal case in Charleston. Jurors have viewed Roof’s video confession and the racist manifesto he posted online before the shooting in which he railed against blacks and Jews and promoted his ideology of white superiority.
Prosecutors said they expect to finish their case on Wednesday with eyewitness testimony from Polly Sheppard, who was at the church but not killed because Roof said he wanted her tell what he had done.
(Reporting by Harriet McLeod; Writing by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Bill Trott)
CNN host left in tears after heartbreaking report on COVID-19 victims
During a segment on CNN this Monday, anchor Brianna Keilar was moved to tears while honoring people who've lost their lives to the coronavirus, especially while telling the story of a couple who died holding hands.
Keilar recounted how a couple married for over 50 years died from the virus only minutes apart after being admitted to the hospital on August 11. When it became clear they wouldn't survive, they were placed in the same ward, where they died holding hands.
Watch the video below:
So-called moderate Georgia senator brags she’s as conservative as a pagan barbarian who killed his own brother to rule
Sen. Kelly Loeffler's (R-GA) new campaign ad brags that she's "more conservative than Attila the Hun," with an actor grunting off a "list" of things he would do.
It appears neither Loeffler nor her staff thought to google who Attila the Hun was and why associating yourself with him could be a public relations disaster.
Among the things the History Channel remembers about Attila, was that he killed his own brother to ensure absolute power. He invaded Gaul in an attempt to score a wife. He also had a "legendary lust for gold."
McConnell’s Supreme Court fight exposes the contempt he and Trump hold for millions of Americans: op-ed
Writing for the Washington Post this Monday, Greg Sargent says that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's forging ahead with a vote to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg is more than just "hypocrisy" -- it's a demonstration of "the contempt that McConnell and Trump hold for millions and millions of American voters."
"It’s about their cavalier willingness to treat all those voters’ political preferences as having no legitimate purchase at all — that is, when they vote for Democrats," Sargent writes.
According to Sargent, the "real game" was given away by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), who declared that the “Constitution gives Senators the power” to confirm nominees, and so “no one should be surprised” if they do it in this case.