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Dylann Roof files appeal against conviction, death sentence

By Andrew V. Pestano
Dylann Roof files appeal against conviction, death sentence
Dylann Roof has appealed his conviction and death sentence, his lawyers said. He was convicted in the 2015 Charleston church shooting rampage that left nine people dead. Photo courtesy Charleston County Sheriff's Office

May 24 (UPI) -- Dylann Roof, who shot dead nine churchgoers at a historic black church in Charleston, has appealed his conviction and death sentence, his lawyers said.

Roof's attorneys on Tuesday sent a formal notice, which did not contain arguments against his conviction or death sentence, to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia. The lawyers, who will now be replaced by federal public defenders in Maryland and California during the appeals process, attempted to defend Roof during trial but Roof later decided to defend himself.

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U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel previously rejected Roof's requests for a new trial or an acquittal. Appeals for capital cases can last for years and can often indefinitely postone executions, The Post and Courier reported.

In April, Roof was transferred to death row in Indiana.

Roof, a self-avowed white supremacist, in December was convicted on numerous counts of murder, obstruction of justice and dozens of other charges in the June 17, 2015, shooting at a Bible study session at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

South Carolina state Sen. Clementa Pickney, 41, who was also a pastor at the church; Cynthia Hurd, 54; Tywanza Sanders, 26; Myra Thompson, 59; Ethel Lance, 70; Susie Jackson, 87; DePayne Middleton Doctor, 49; Sharonda Singleton, 45; and Daniel Simmons Sr., 74, died in the attack.

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