Oct 11, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court rejects Dylann Roof's appeal in church murder case

 Dylan Roof (C), the suspect in the mass shooting that left nine dead in a Charleston church.

Dylann Roof, who was convicted in the mass shooting that left nine dead in a Charleston church, sits in court. Photo: Grace Beahm-Pool/Getty Images

The Supreme Court rejected an appeal Tuesday from Dylann Roof over his 2015 death sentence conviction for killing nine people in a South Carolina church.

The big picture: Roof was found guilty of murder for killing nine members of a Black congregation in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015. He had asked the court to decide how to handle evidence related to mental illness, challenging his conviction, per AP. The court upheld his death sentence.

Details: Roof asked for the Supreme Court to review his case after a lower federal appeals court denied a request to overturn his conviction and death sentence.

  • The Supreme Court was asked to review how to handle disagreements between capital defendants and their attorneys over sharing evidence related to mental illness.
  • The court did not state why it rejected the case.

Zoom in: According to the AP, Roof's side questioned what should happen when a capital defendant who is deemed mentally competent to stand trial disagrees with their attorneys over whether or not to share evidence depicting the defendant as mentally ill.

  • Roof, who represented himself in the case after firing his legal team, attempted to block any evidence that showed him as mentally ill — even though his attorneys argued it may have helped him avoid the death penalty, AP reports.

The big picture: Roof can now seek other appeals in his sentence, according to AP. He is currently on federal death row at a maximum-security facility in Terre Haute, Indiana.

  • Roof, who pleaded guilty in 2017, became the first person in the U.S. to receive a death sentence on federal hate crimes charges.

Go deeper: Dylann Roof asks appeals court to reconsider death sentence ruling

Go deeper