Roof’s legal team is appealing the sentence on the basis that the now 27-year-old was “disconnected from reality.” Roof told authorities back in 2015 after the slayings that he murdered the nine parishioners to launch a race war.
“When Dylann Roof represented himself at his capital trial, he was a 22-year-old, ninth-grade dropout diagnosed with schizophrenia-spectrum disorder, autism, anxiety, and depression, who believed his sentence didn’t matter because white nationalists would free him from prison after an impending race war,” the motion read, in part.
Despite the appeal, Roof expressed a lack of remorse for his actions: “I would like to make it crystal clear. I do not regret what I did,” he wrote in a journal following the killings. “I am not sorry. I have not shed a tear for the innocent people I killed.”