Federal Lawyers urge the Supreme Court to not Review Dylann Roof's Case
DOJ lawyers argued that “the ultimate objective of his defense was to avoid the death penalty."
Attorneys for the federal government wrote that Dylann Roof’s death sentence and conviction for his killing of nine members of a Block South Carolina congregation should be upheld and don’t merit review by the United States Supreme Court. The attorneys from the DOJ argued that Roof “fails to identify any meaningful disagreement in the lower courts over how his legal representation played out at trial.”
A briefing came as Roof’s attorneys requested that the justices take up the case. Earlier this year, they also asked the Supreme Court to decide how to handle the dispute of possible mental illness-related evidence between capital defendants and their attorneys.
“When a capital defendant who has been ruled competent to stand trial and his attorneys disagree on whether to present mitigating evidence depicting him as mentally ill, who gets the final say?”
Roof’s defense team said.
DOJ lawyers argued that “the ultimate objective of his defense was to avoid the death penalty,” and “Roof was not entitled to control his counsel’s strategy for achieving that objective by dictating the mitigation evidence that they could introduce.” As Roof was working through his sentencing, he fired his legal team and elected to self-represent. According to his legal team, the move “successfully prevented jurors from hearing evidence about his mental health under the delusion that he would be rescued from prison by white nationalists. But only if he kept his mental impairments out of public record.”
“The current appellate court correctly determined that Roof was not entitled to enjoy the assistance of counsel while directing presentation of mitigation evidence. Any conflict on that question in the lower courts is far narrower than petitioner suggests and does not warrant this court’s review.”
Government attorneys said.