COLUMBIA, S.C. — Dylann Roof’s chances for a new appellate hearing continue to dwindle.
Roof is challenging his death sentence and conviction in the 2015 racist slayings of nine members of a Black South Carolina congregation.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday, October 12, 2021, refused to reconsider recusing itself from his appeal.
Roof’s attorneys wanted the judges who opted to sit out his case to reinstate themselves to consider his petition for a new hearing. One of the court's judges prosecuted Roof’s case as an assistant U.S. attorney in 2017, when Roof became the first person in the U.S. sentenced to death for a federal hate crime.
Roof opened fire on June 17, 2015 during the closing prayer of a 2015 Bible study session at Charleston's Mother Emanuel AME Church.
Following his federal trial, Roof was given nine consecutive life sentences after pleading guilty in 2017 to state murder charges, leaving him to await execution in a federal prison and sparing his victims and their families the burden of a second trial.