Dylann Roof, who was convicted in federal court for the 2015 of killing nine people, all African-Americans, during a prayer service at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC, wants to fire his Jewish and Native American appellate attorneys, AP reported.
Roof, 23, who is on federal death row, on Monday sent a hand-written note to the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, saying that “because of my political views, which are arguably religious, it will be impossible for me to trust two attorneys that are my political and biological enemies.”
He argued that because of their racial identities, “it is therefore quite literally impossible that they and I could have the same interests relating to my case.”
Roof told the court he believes “ethnicity was a constant source of conflict even with my constant efforts to look past it” with renowned death penalty lawyer David Isaac Bruck, who is Jewish and served as Roof’s primary attorney during his federal trial.
Dylann Roof has made legal history, being the first US citizen to face both a state and federal death penalty at the same time. In September 2015, it was announced Roof would face capital punishment in his state prosecution, and in May 2016, the US Department of Justice announced Roof would face capital punishment in his federal prosecution as well.
This could turn out to be a difficult to resolve conflict between states and federal rights, seeing as only one of them gets to kill Roof, for obvious biological reasons.
It is also conceivable that Roof will not make it to either of his executions: on August 4, 2016, he was beaten by an African-American inmate at the Charleston County Detention Center. The inmate, 25-year-old Dwayne Marion Stafford, was mysteriously able to exit his cell, get through a steel cell door with a narrow vertical window, and go down the stairs into the jail’s protective custody unit to reach Roof. When he reached Roof, the latter was alone after two detention officers assigned to be with him had mysteriously left the area.