Dylann Roof won't offer defense during sentencing

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Roof confessed to killing nine parishioners during the June 2015 attack at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. He was represented by a lawyer during the guilt phase of the trial but was ultimately convicted December 15 on all 33 federal charges. He was convicted of hate crimes, obstructing religion and firearms violations in connection with the mass shooting. Court documents and statements indicate Roof's lawyers had sought to present psychologists and psychiatrists who would testify that Roof suffers from an undisclosed mental defect.

In video testimony with investigators, Roof reportedly laughed as he admitted, "I am guilty", but also said flatly that his taking of nine innocent lives makes him "feel bad". "You know my feeling on this", Gergel advised Roof, telling him to at least confer with his grandfather and his former attorneys before barreling ahead with his plan. Roof agreed to do so.

"Well, don't do them any favors", Gergel told the defendant, who appeared in the striped uniform of the Charleston jail as well as handcuffs and leg shackles. His former lead attorney, David Bruck, sat in the lead attorney's chair at the defense table. He was represented by a lawyer during the guilt phase of the trial.

Richardson said he also will call the chief Federal Bureau of Investigation agent on the case to tie up loose ends and refresh jurors' memories.

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Some mitigating factors for Roof include his age and the fact he previously was not convicted of a crime.

Roof also faces a state trial, set to begin two weeks after his federal sentencing hearing.

"But late last week, Roof's attorneys asked the judge to reverse the decision, arguing that Roof was not equipped to adequately defend himself against a possible death sentence, and that 'allowing him to proceed would deprive him of protection against cruel and unusual punishment, ' reported the Charleston Post and Courier".

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