The trial of Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old accused of shooting nine Black people in the Charleston Church shooting, has been delayed. ABC News reports that Roof’s trial had been scheduled for next month, but both defense attorneys and federal prosecutors said they didn’t have enough time to prepare. Defense attorney David Bruck said that he only received the main evidence two weeks ago and needs time to look over it and to construct his arguments.
“In two months we will have a better sense of where this case is going,” he said. Roof intends to plead guilty, but is waiting on the government to decide whether it will enforce the death penalty in his case. Roof faces 33 federal charges, including hate crime charges, but he also faces state charges.
If he were to be tried at the state level, prosecutors would argue for the death penalty to be carried out, although not all families of the victims are in favor of it. The federal judge who has ruled to postpone Roof’s case until January or sometime thereafter had Roof’s consent to waive his right to a speedy trial.
According to ABC News, federal law states that a trial must be held within 70 days of a defendant’s indictment. Families of the victims at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston will therefore continue to wait to learn Roof’s fate, although many of them have already extended forgiveness to him