Roof doesn't ask for clemency

2017-01-04 20:15
Dylann Roof wears shackles on his way to court. (Matt Walsh, AP)

Dylann Roof wears shackles on his way to court. (Matt Walsh, AP)

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Charleston - Convicted Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof did not ask jurors to spare his life or for the death penalty during his brief opening statement at his sentencing trial.

The soft-spoken Roof told jurors on Wednesday that there was nothing wrong with him psychologically and that his lawyers forced him to go through two competency hearings.

He stood at a podium and slowly and calmly spoke to the jurors, glancing occasionally at notes in front of him. He told jurors there wasn't anything he was trying to keep secret from them and said he was better at embarrassing himself than anyone else.

Roof's lawyers indicated he wanted to represent himself because he was worried they might present embarrassing evidence about him or his family.

Prosecutors asked jurors to sentence Roof to death, saying the "horrific acts" of killing nine black church members in June 2015 deserved capital punishment. The prosecutors say Roof didn't show any remorse and they read a portion from a journal found in Roof's jail cell six weeks after his arrest.

In the journal, Roof said he had not wept for any of the victims and did not regret what he did.

Earlier federal prosecutors said convicted Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof should be sentenced to death because he killed nine black parishioners because of the colour of their skin.

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