A federal judge ruled on Monday that Dylann S. Roof, who was charged in the massacre of nine black worshipers at a Charleston, S.C., church in 2015, can represent himself in his federal death-penalty trial.
The judge, Richard M. Gergel of Federal District Court in Charleston, called the request by Mr. Roof, 22, “strategically unwise,” but allowed him to have a lawyer present as backup.
“I do find defendant has the personal capacity to self-representation,” Judge Gergel said, according to The Post & Courier. He added, “It is a decision you have the right to make.”
Mr. Roof had been represented by David I. Bruck, a noted death-penalty lawyer, who slid over from the lead chair after the judge’s decision. The ruling came days after Mr. Roof was found competent to stand trial.
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SOURCE: NY Times, Daniel Victor