Court rejects racist's objection to Jewish and Indian lawyers

Court rejects racist's objection to Jewish and Indian lawyers September 21, 2017

Dylann Storm Roof, sentenced to death for killing nine church worshippers in 2015,  has been told by a court that he has to accept two lawyers appointed to handle his appeal.
Roof, 23, according to this report, filed a handwritten request in his federal appeals case on Monday seeking new attorneys, saying:

Because of my political views, which are arguably religious, it will be impossible for me to trust two attorneys that are my political and biological enemies.

The ones appointed for him are Alexandra Yates and Sapna Mirchandani – Jewish and Indian, respectively. They were appointed after Roof was sentenced to death in January this year.
In June 2015, the white supremacist targeted a prayer service at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. He killed nine people, all African Americans, including senior pastor and state senator Clementa C Pinckney, and injured one other person.
A self-described “white nationalist”, Roof added that he already had found it impossible to work with his lead trial attorney, David Bruck, because he too was Jewish. Roof wrote:

His ethnicity was a constant source of conflict even with my constant efforts to look past it. Trust is a vital component in an attorney client relationship, and is important to the effectiveness of the defense.

During the trial, he often feuded with Bruck, who wanted to present evidence of mental illness and possible autism in an effort to garner Roof a life sentence.
Roof sought to represent himself, although he wound up allowing Bruck to serve as lead counsel during the guilt portion of the trial. Roof still represented himself during the sentencing phase to ensure Bruck could not introduce mental health evidence.
At one point, Roof told Bruck he hated him, and that:

If he gets out of jail, he plans to come to Mr Bruck’s house and kill him.

After his death sentence was imposed, Roof asked US District Judge Richard Gergel to appoint him new lawyers so he didn’t have to continue with Bruck and his team.
The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia issued a one-line ruling on Tuesday saying only:

The court denies the motion for substitution of counsel on appeal.

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  • Har Davids

    They can really take the piss out of him by selecting only people he despises, for whatever reason, to form his execution team, or would that be a bit too much?

  • AgentCormac

    Over the past couple of years, Trump with his abhorrent rhetoric really has flung the doors to the asylum wide open. And as a direct result people like this little scumbag now feel emboldened to wear their racism on their sleeves like a badge of honour. If there really was such a thing as hell,the pair of them would be headed straight for it.

  • Broga

    Smug git with the deeply unpleasant certainty of the religious loon.

  • Steve

    As much as i oppose the man and what he did, there is an argument to be made for the right to legal counsel.Even someone clearly guilty has a right to due process and to try to defend themselves. Granted there’s no feasible defence in this particular case, but would any of you in any situation want to find yourself being defended by someone who politically opposes you, if you think their political ideas may influence their work?

  • Broga

    It may be a counsel of perfection Steve but are not lawyers there to do their best for their client regardless of personal views. If not, then where is the line to be drawn. Would a Christian lawyer never defend an atheist or an atheist lawyer a Christian? Would a right wing lawyer never defend a rabid leftist? The examples could go on.

  • Angela_K

    @Steve, I understand the point you are making, however, I agree with Broga. My Niece is a Barrister and she has had to defend some utterly horrid and objectionable people, it is to some extent the luck of draw at her chambers who she represents and ultimately the job she is paid to do.

  • AgentCormac

    @Angela_K & Broga
    Being asked to defend the indefensible must, as a lawyer, be the worst brief you could possibly be given. But then, I guess that’s all part and parcel of being a hungry, ambitious legal wannabe (although personally I think I’d rather shave my chin with a cheesegrater than defend someone like Roof).
    However, for a spot of light entertainment, does anyone remember an episode of Sgt. Bilko (aka ‘The Phil Silvers Show’), in which the loveable rascal Bilko successfully defends a chimp called Harry Speakup, who is being court-martialed after being wrongly enrolled into the US Army?
    Truly, truly wonderful stuff .

  • Vanity Unfair

    Logically, perhaps one should always accept a lawyer whose background seems to be at odds with the accused’s alleged crime. The reason is that the lawyer will try his (in legal terms the masculine includes the feminine unless the context requires otherwise; “he embraces she”) best because the risk of a mistrial being declared due to the lawyer’s prejudice could result in a finding of “not guilty”on technical, rather than evidential ground. At the very least a retrial will be ordered and the lawyer will lose a great deal of good reputation. Therefore the lawyer will try harder.

  • barriejohn

    Is Roof still a Christian? Many of these white supremacists are. Do they not realize that Jesus was Jewish?
    PS I notice that he states that his actions were brave. Says it all really.

  • 1859

    ‘We are different, therefore we are better, superior, If we are superior we therefore have the natural right to dominate and subjugate’
    This is the false logic of all supremacists – ‘difference’ does not imply anything ‘qualitative’. To say I am different therefore I am better is totally stupid. I hope this guy is put away for a long,long time.

  • Laura Roberts

    One of the many problems with the death penalty. I say he should spend the rest of his life in prison with no hope of parole, wasting away as a pathetic figure, instead of using every appeal as an opportunity to grandstand.

  • John the Drunkard

    Well, at least HE isn’t pretending that it isn’t about religion.