The criminal case against Dylann Roof is captivating the nation and, according to an ABC report, Roof says he will not call any witnesses during the sentencing phase of the death penalty case against him.  Roof is representing himself in the case wherein Roof was found guilty of killing multiple parishioners of the Charleston, South Carolina church.
The purpose of calling witnesses on behalf of the defense in the sentencing phase of a trial is to plead for a lesser punishment. In the case where the death penalty is in play, calling witnesses could help to spare the life of the convicted.
An alternative to the death penalty is a life sentence, in which the person convicted spends the remaining years of his or her life in prison.
Darren Kavinoky, founding attorney of 1.800.NoCuffs, says, “This is also an excellent illustration of how capital cases (i.e., cases involving the death penalty) are unique. Whether those criminal cases are in state court or federal court, they are broken up into two separate and distinct phases: the so-called ‘guilt phase,’ where the jury is tasked with deciding whether the government has proved each and every element of their case beyond a reasonable doubt; and the ‘penalty phase,’ where the choices are life in prison without the possibility of parole, or death.”
Roof continues to assert his right to represent himself.
1. Emily Shapiro. December 28, 2016. ABC News. “Dylann Roof Says He Won’t Call Witnesses During Sentencing in Federal Death Penalty Case.” Retrieved via http://abcnews.go.com/US/dylann-roof-call-witnesses-sentencing-federal-death-penalty/story?id=44429348.
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