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White Supremacist Church Shooter Dylann Roof Barred From Firing Jewish Lawyer

The white supremacist who was convicted of shooting nine people in a South Carolina church as part of his plan to start a “race war” has been barred by a federal appeals court from firing his Jewish and Indian-American lawyers.

Dylann Roof filed a hand-written motion to the court from his federal prison, arguing that “Because of my political views, which are arguably religious, it will be impossible for me to trust two attorneys that are my political and biological enemies.”

But the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied his motion on Tuesday. Its entire statement was 11 words: “The court denies the motion for substitution of counsel on appeal.”

Roof is awaiting the death penalty (pending the end of his appeals) following his 2015 conviction on dozens of counts. His lawyer during his original trial was also Jewish, which Roof complained about in his filing, saying that his “ethnicity was a constant source of conflict even with my constant efforts to look past it.”

Contact Aiden Pink at pink@forward.com or on Twitter, @aidenpink.

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