While Dylann Roof, the accused killer in the Emanuel AME Church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina last year, is still months away from being tried for murder, justice is moving more swiftly in his federal hate crimes prosecution. Jury selection is due to begin within the next couple weeks after various delays that included competency testing and now Roof’s request to represent himself at trial. WCIV-TV in Charleston reports that the judge granted the latter request on Monday, which paved the way for jury selection to begin immediately.
Roof went through the standard questions about being able to handle examinations of witnesses, motions to the court and objecting to the prosecution. The judge felt that Roof had waived his rights to counsel and agreed to proceed with Roof acting as his own lawyer, albeit with his incumbent attorneys present as standby counsel. With that out of the way, jury selection commenced, and it is still ongoing as of this writing. Both the federal and state trials are death penalty cases, and that’s sure to play a factor in jury selection.