‘Nothing wrong with me’: Dylann Roof makes no apology in address to jury
The man who gunned down nine black churchgoers in Charleston,South Carolina told jurors at his sentencing trial he was mentally competent, calling on them to ignore the remarks of his attorney suggesting he may be mentally troubled.
Representing himself at the sentencing trial on Thursday, Dylann Roof addressed the jury to tell them “there’s nothing wrong with me psychologically.”
Roof, 22, was convicted on all 33 charges in December.
While his statement may seem bold coming a man who was found guilty of murdering nine people at a historical black church, it also means jurors may not factor in his mental competency when determining whether or not Roof should be sentenced to death.
Roof had initially used a court appointed lawyer for his initial legal battle for the shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. However, he represented himself at the sentencing hearing in order to avoid his defense team from using evidence regarding his family background of mental capacity, according to the New York Times.
“The point is that I’m not going to lie to you, not by myself or through somebody else,” Roof told the jurors and courtroom where family members of his victims watched. When the prosecution called family members of the victims, such as Jennifer Benjamin Pinckney, widow of the Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, Roof declined to ask any questions during cross-examination.
The prosecution also presented journal entries from Roof shortly after his arrest such as one penned in 2015 which read, “I would like to make it crystal clear I do not regret what I did.”
“I have shed a tear of self-pity for myself. I feel pity that I had to do what I did in the first place. I feel pity that I had to give up my life because of a situation that should never have existed,” he continued.
While Roof insists his mental capacities are sound, those who know him claim that he regularly used a variety of drugs ranging from daily cocaine use to Suboxone, a drug used to treat opioid addiction but which can also be used recreationally for minor opiate effects, the State reported.