He's not finding a lot of sympathetic ears.
Dylann Roof’s trial is in the penalty phase, and prosecutors are in the midst of presenting their evidence against Roof. The prosecutors originally intended to bring 38 witnesses, whereas Roof infamously decided not to bring any mitigating evidence to try and stay the death penalty. It seems he’s not regretting that decision, based on an unsealed court filing. Specifically, he says it’s “not fair”
Since Roof has already been convicted of federal hate crimes for killing nine people in June of 2015, all that’s left is to decide between life in prison or the death penalty. Currently, the prosecution is bringing forward friends and family members to testify (often emotionally) how Roof’s actions have affected their lives.
Roof’s statement reads, “if I don’t present any mitigation evidence, the victim-impact evidence will take over the hole sentencing trial and guarantee that I get the death penalty.” There is no mercy rule in criminal court, so Roof’s expectation that if he doesn’t present evidence neither will the prosecution is misplaced. However, he asked the judge to limit the number of witnesses the prosecution can use anyway.
This is Roof’s first interaction in the courtroom since his opening statement. Representing himself at the trial, he has not questioned any of the witness and does not intend to in the future. Judge Richard M. Gergel denied Roof’s request, and reminded Roof that he disregarded an earlier warning not to fire his lawyers and is now paying the price.