Lawyers for Dylann Roof, the White man accused of killing nine Black parishioners at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, filed a challenge to the federal death penalty on Monday evening, CNN reports.
Roof’s defense team proposed federal prosecutors drop the death penalty in exchange for Roof’s guilty plea against all indictments. They claim they will drop the motion if prosecutors drop the death penalty.
Currently, Roof faces 33 federal offenses, including hate crime charges based on the allegation that he purposely targeted members of Emanuel based on their race and religion.
His lawyers claim the death penalty charges violate the Fifth and Eighth Amendments. Jury selection for the federal trial begins November 7. Roof also faces the death penalty in a state trial scheduled to begin in January.
SOURCE: CNN | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty