Government: Dylann Roof’s death sentence should stand

Southeast Region

FILE – In this June 18, 2015, file photo, Charleston, S.C., shooting suspect Dylann Storm Roof is escorted from the Cleveland County Courthouse in Shelby, N.C. A federal appeals court has reinstated a lawsuit over a faulty background check that allowed Roof to buy the gun he used to kill nine people in a racist attack at a South Carolina church. A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday, Aug. 30, 2019, reversed a lower court judge who threw out the lawsuit brought by survivors and relatives of people killed in the 2015 massacre at Charleston’s AME Emanuel Church. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Attorneys for the federal government have opposed Dylann Roof’s request for a new appellate hearing, arguing that the South Carolina man was properly convicted and sentenced for the 2015 racist slayings of nine members of a Black congregation.

Federal prosecutors argued in court documents filed Thursday that a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals correctly ruled last month that the government had proven its case against Roof, despite his protestations on several points.

In 2017, Roof became the first person in the U.S. sentenced to death for a federal hate crime. Authorities have said Roof opened fire during the closing prayer of a Bible study at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, raining down dozens of bullets on those assembled. He was 21 at the time.

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