(Reuters) - Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who killed nine black people at a South Carolina church in 2015, has appealed his conviction and death sentence, with lawyers arguing the mentally ill defendant never should have been allowed to represent himself at trial.
REUTERS/Grace Beahm/PoolThis Court should vacate Roofs convictions and death sentence, says his appeal, filed with the 4th U.S.
After the trial judge, U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel, allowed Roof to represent himself, the defendant elected not to present any evidence.
The 2008 decision Indiana v. Edwards allows judges to force a lawyer on defendants who lack mental capacity, they said.
The choice is not all or nothing, the lawyers said, citing the 2018 ruling in McCoy v. Louisiana.