Jury selection for Dylann Roof’s federal trial begins, 320 potential jurors called for first day of jury screening
Fourth Estate Staff
Charlotte, SC, United States (4E) – Three thousand potential jurors are being looked into by prosecutors and defense lawyers and during the first day of jury screening, 320 people were called in order to select those who will judge whether or not Dylann Roof is guilty of the crimes and charges alleged against him.
Roof could face death penalty if proven guilty of the crime of killing nine people at a black church last year. Accordingly, Roof requested to be present while the jury selection was underway. He arrived on Monday morning talking to his attorneys. However, when around 80 potential jurors came inside the court, he reportedly stared at his lap emotionlessly .
The 22-year-old is charged with 33 federal counts, which are most hate crimes and obstruction of religion. Roof went inside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17, 2015 and opened fire. A state senator, Clement Pinckney , who was also the senior pastor of the church, was killed. Eight other parishioners were fatally shot.
Roof is set to face another trial, which has been set this January, for nine state counts of murder. He could also face death penalty in the second trial if proven guilty.
Officials said that Roof confessed to the killings and his attorneys said he is willing to plead guilty if he will serve life in prison instead of death penalty. However, prosecutors rejected the request.
The jury might be completed after three weeks. Testimony might start by November or December.