On Tuesday, the Supreme Court refused to consider Dylann Roof’s plea to overturn his death sentence and conviction for killing nine Black people in 2015 at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina.
According to Reuters, the justices threw out Roof’s appeal of a lower court’s ruling last year that upheld his sentence and conviction. Roof, 28, had requested the court to consider how to deal with death penalty cases where lawyers and their clients disagreed, which is allegedly what happened in his case.
Roof and his team clashed on presenting evidence that would show the defendant as someone who suffered from mental illness. In 2016, Roof was found guilty of 33 federal charges for the shooting at the renowned church in Charleston.
A year later, he was sentenced to death. During the sentencing phase of his trial, Roof fired his lawyers and represented himself after a judge told him that his legal team could introduce evidence that would show he was allegedly mentally ill.
This meant that jurors never heard evidence that would give insight to his mental health and how he was “under the delusion” that “he would be rescued from prison by white-nationalists — but only, bizarrely, if he kept his mental-impairments out of the public record,” his appeal lawyers explained.
During the appeal process by the Richmond, Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to sustain his conviction and death sentence, Roof’s legal team stated that he should not have represented himself in court in order to stop evidence from being presented.
Roof is currently on federal death row at a maximum-security prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.