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Emanuel A. M. E. Church Shootings

  • The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from Dylann Roof, who challenged his death sentence and conviction in the 2015 racist slayings of nine members of a Black South Carolina congregation. Roof had asked the court to decide how to handle disputes over mental illness-related evidence between capital defendants and their attorneys. The justices did not comment Tuesday in turning away the appeal. Roof fired his attorneys and represented himself during the sentencing phase of his capital trial, part of his effort to block evidence potentially portraying him as mentally ill. Roof shot participants at a Bible study session at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
  • Attorneys for the U.S. Justice Department say the nation's highest court shouldn't review the case of convicted church shooter Dylann Roof. Federal prosecutors made that argument in an expected filing with the U.S. Supreme Court. Roof was sentenced to death after his conviction in the 2015 racist slayings of nine members of a Black South Carolina congregation. His lawyers have appealed his case to the high court, asking justices to decide how to handle disputes over mental illness-related evidence between capital defendants and their attorneys. Government attorneys say Roof wasn't entitled to "control his counsel's strategy" for winning his case "by dictating the mitigation evidence that they could introduce."
  • Chris Singleton's mother was murdered at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston in 2015. He's since made it his mission to root out racism one person at a time.
  • Attorneys for convicted church shooter Dylann Roof have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to decide how to handle disagreements over mental illness-related evidence between capital defendants and their attorneys. Authorities have said Roof opened fire during a 2015 Bible study at Mother Emanuel AME Church, killing nine members of the Black South Carolina congregation. Roof fired his legal team and represented himself at sentencing, purportedly to keep jurors from hearing evidence about his mental health. His attorneys say other courts would have allowed Roof to keep his attorneys while ensuring they didn't present evidence he didn't want. Last year, an appellate panel unanimously upheld Roof's conviction and death sentence. The government's response is due by the end of the month.
  • One of the survivors of a racist massacre at an African American church in South Carolina has started giving out scholarships from her foundation to students who want to provide health care to prisoners. Polly Daniels Sheppard set aside money from speaking engagements and other events to create the Polly Sheppard Foundation. Sheppard worked as a nurse for 14 years at the Charleston County jail and says she was bothered that there was always a lack of health workers with compassion for the people they might be helping behind bars. Sheppard was one of five people inside Emanuel AME church to survive in June 2015 when a racist killed nine members of the church.
  • Families of nine victims killed in a racist attack at a Black South Carolina church have reached a settlement with the Justice Department over a faulty background check that allowed Dylann Roof to purchase the gun he used in the 2015 massacre. The $88 million deal includes $63 million for the families of the slain and $25 million for survivors of the shooting, was set to be announced Thursday in Washington. Weeks before the church shooting, Roof was arrested by Columbia, South Carolina, police on the drug possession charge. But a series of clerical errors and missteps allowed Roof to buy the handgun he later used in the killings.
  • Dylann Roof's chances for a new appellate hearing continue to dwindle. Roof is challenging his death sentence and conviction in the 2015 racist slayings of nine members of a Black South Carolina congregation. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday refused to reconsider recusing itself from his appeal. Roof's attorneys wanted the judges who opted to sit out his case to reinstate themselves to consider his petition for a new hearing. One of the court's judges prosecuted Roof's case as an assistant U.S. attorney in 2017, when Roof became the first person in the U.S. sentenced to death for a federal hate crime.
  • Dylann Roof wants the entire appellate court that recused itself from hearing his case to reconsider that decision. Roof's attorneys have made that request in new documents filed with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, as he challenges his death sentence and conviction in the 2015 racist slayings of nine members of a Black South Carolina congregation. All of the judges on the court have recused themselves from the case. One of them, Judge Jay Richardson, was lead prosecutor on Roof's case. Roof's lawyers say the court should still be able to decide whether he should get a new appellate hearing.
  • Attorneys for the federal government have opposed Dylann Roof's request for a new appellate hearing, arguing that the South Carolina man was properly convicted and sentenced for the 2015 racist slayings of nine members of a Black congregation. Federal prosecutors argued in court documents filed Thursday that a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals correctly ruled last month that the government had proven its case against Roof, despite his protestations on several points. In 2017, Roof became the first person in the U.S. sentenced to death for a federal hate crime.
  • Dylann Roof has filed the next step in his federal appeal. On Wednesday, Roof's lawyers filed a petition with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals seeking to challenge the court's confirmation of his conviction and death sentence for the 2015 racist slayings of nine members of a Black South Carolina congregation. Last month, a three-judge panel of the court unanimously upheld Roof's conviction and sentence, rejecting arguments that the young white man should have been ruled incompetent to stand trial in the shootings at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. Now, Roof wants the full court to consider his appeal.