Listen Here: stream.ashevillefm.org/RickSichta01112017.mp3
There never was doubt about Dylann S. Roof’s guilt. The white supremacist confessed to shooting to death nine African-Americans in June 2015. Roof showed no regret, no remorse for the killings in Charleston at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
The question that loomed was, would he die for his crimes? A federal jury unanimously answered.
The jury of nine white and three black people voted to recommend that Roof be executed. The judge has begun a sentencing hearing on imposing the death penalty.
There is a bigger question than Roof’s fate. It is the question that swirls around the death penalty itself.
Roof’s case spotlights our doubts about handing down the ultimate sentence.
What if there were mistakes made in the process?
The verdict does not mean that Roof will be executed.
His case likely will go through years of appeals. The courts may hear about Roof’s mental competency to stand trial. Lawyers may argue that the emotional intensity of the sentencing phase overly influenced the jurors. There may be concerns raised about the drugs used for lethal injection. Many questions remain.
To help us get a handle on the issues in the Roof case and the death penalty, Asheville FM News sat down with an attorney who specializes in appeals cases.
Rick Sichta is an attorney in Jacksonville, Florida, who has been involved in challenging the constitutionality of how death sentences in Florida have been issued.
“The difference is not guilt or innocence but, instead, life or death,” wrote the court in its ruling.
Listen to Rick Sichta’s insights on Dylann Roof and the death penalty. Should the death penalty be allowed? You decide.