Roof will not present mental health evidence during sentencing


CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) — Dylann Roof will not present mental health evidence during the sentencing phase of his federal trial, according to a note written to U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel.

Roof was convicted Thursday of the 2015 massacre at Emanuel AME Church where nine parishioners, including State Senator Clementa Pinckney, were killed. He was found guilty on all 33 charges.

A hearing, to be held on Tuesday, December 20, was ordered by Gergel after Roof failed to meet a 24-hour deadline to file a required notice to give the Court a definitive response on whether or not he would present expert testimony on his mental health during sentencing. wcbd-roof-mental-health-noteIn the note, now filed with the Court, Roof writes he “will not be calling mental health experts or presenting mental health evidence.” The December 20 hearing is now canceled.

In a journal detailing his racist beliefs shown to jurors at his trial, Roof wrote that psychology is a Jewish invention that tells people they have problems when they really don’t. His defense attorneys have suggested in court papers that he doesn’t want them introducing embarrassing evidence that could spare his life. That same team is now standby counsel during the sentencing phase, following another order signed by Gergel Thursday evening.

Meantime, the jury that convicted Roof will return January 3 to decide whether to impose a death sentence or life in prison.

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