A White supremacist’s request to replace his attorneys because they’re Jewish and Indian was rejected by the federal court hearing his case.
Dylann Roof, who was sentenced to death in January for killing nine black parishioners in Charleston, South Carolina church two years ago, made a handwritten request to replace the lawyers who are appealing his sentence.
According to the Washington Post, he said in the appeal filed Monday last week that their ethnicities are “a barrier to effective communication.”
“It will be impossible for me to trust two attorneys that are my political and biological enemies,” the 23-year-old wrote.
In response, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a one-page, 11-word denial the following day, simply saying, “The court denies the motion for substitution of counsel on appeal.”
South Asian Bar Association of North America president Rishi Bagga pointed out that Roof’s request has no merit since requesting to replace an attorney must be based on legal abilities.
The two public defenders who were appointed to handle his appeal are Alexandra Yates and Sapna Mirchandani, who are both experienced attorneys.
Alexandra Yates, who graduated from Yale Law School has been practicing law for a decade now, while Sapna Mirchandani, a product of Columbia University Law School has been in practice for about 18 years.
During his trial, Roof reportedly showed no remorse for the 2015 massacre and even said that he hoped to start a race war in the United States.
“Well yeah, I mean, I just went to that church in Charleston and, uh, I did it,” Roof was quoted as saying as a response to questions on what happened.
Pressed by the investigators what exactly he had done, he replied with, “Well, I killed them, I guess.”
He further justified the killings, explaining that what he did was “so minuscule” to what Black people are “doing to White people every day all the time.”
According to the LA Times, Roof was convicted in federal court of 33 hate crime charges related to the shooting in December of last year.