Dylann Roof, the convicted Charleston church shooter, started making his case in court on Wednesday as jurors prepared to hand down the death sentence for his heinous crime.
According to CNN, below is the full transcript of Dylann Roof’s opening statement.
“My opening statement may seem a little out of place. You may have heard the reason I chose to represent myself so to prevent my lawyers from misrepresentation. That’s absolutely true. It isn’t because I am trying to keep a secret. I am not going to lie to you through myself. My lawyers forced me to go through two mental competency hearings, not because I have an issue, but it is going to be revealed. In that respect my self-representation has accomplished nothing, you say, what is the point? Point is that I am not going to lie to you.Other than the fact that I trusted people I shouldn’t have… (inaudible).
“There’s nothing wrong with me psychologically. Anything you heard from my lawyers in the last phase (of the trial), I ask you to forget it. That’s the last thing.”
As Roof, who was wearing a gray sweater and talking very softly, spoke, three of the people who had been sitting in the reserved section of the courtroom for friends and family members of the victims got up and left, with one saying as he left, “This is all crap.”
— Meg Kinnard (@MegKinnardAP) January 4, 2017
According to a separate report by CNN, Roof was convicted by the jury on the federal murder and hate crimes charges he faced for the shooting that took place at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston in June of 2015. During the massacre, nine people were murdered.
Now, a month later, Roof, who is a self-proclaimed white supremacist, has decided to represent himself while the jury decides if he should receive the death penalty for his crimes, which he shows no remorse for.
— Mitch Pugh (@SCMitchP) January 4, 2017
“The defendant didn’t stop after shooting one or four or five people. That’s why this case is worse,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathan Williams said of Dylann. “He killed because of the color of their skin. He thought they were less as people. He wanted to magnify and incite violence.”
“I do not regret what I did,” read Roof’s journal entry, which was presented by prosecutors as new evidence. “I am not sorry. I have not shed a tear for the innocent people I killed. I do feel sorry for the innocent white children forced to live in this sick county. I do feel sorry for the innocent white people that are killed daily at the hands of the lower races. I have shed a tear of self-pity for myself. I feel pity that I had to do what I did in the first place. I feel pity that I had to give up my life because of a situation that should never have existed.”
— Glenn Smith (@glennsmith5) January 2, 2017
Dylann Roof was responsible for the murders of Cynthia Hurd, 54; Susie Jackson, 87; Ethel Lance, 70; Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, 49; Hon. Rev. Clementa Pinckney, 41; Tywanza Sanders, 26; Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr., 74; and Rev. Sharonda Singleton, 45; Myra Thompson, 59.
What are your thoughts about Dylann Roof’s opening statement? Do you think he should receive the death penalty? Leave your comments below.
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