Dylann Roof To Undergo Second Competency Test Ahead Of Sentencing
Following a jury’s guilty verdict in the case of Dylann Roof — the white supremacist who killed nine black people in Charleston, S.C. — the presiding Judge Richard Gergel mandated another competency evaluation ahead of the 22-year-old’s sentencing next year, ABC News reports.
Judge Gergel cited an “abundance of caution” as the reason behind his decision, and the test will commence on Monday (Jan. 2). The sentencing will still occur the following day. During this proceeding, jurors will decide whether or not Roof will face the death penalty.
Roof was charged with 33 counts of federal violations, including a bevy of hate crimes, after he opened fire in the Emanuel AME Church in June 2015. Following an investigation, authorities discovered that Roof’s actions were fueled by his longstanding neo-Nazi beliefs and his plan to incite a race war.
Following the timeline of the tragic shooting, families of the victims and their legal representatives shared their thoughts on life ahead for not only themselves, but for Roof as well. In an interview with the New York Times, Andrew J. Savage III, a lawyer for 26-year-old Tywanza Sanders’ family, a man who was killed by Roof during the church attack, said he wants the memory of the victims to live forever within Roof’s mind.
“I want that guy every morning when he wakes up, and every time he has an opportunity for quiet and solitude, to think of what Tywanza said to him: ‘We mean you no harm. You don’t have to do this.'”