(JTA) — Charleston church gunman Dylann Roof, who was sentenced to death for killing nine black worshippers, has told a federal appeals court he wants to fire the attorneys handling his appeal because one is Jewish and the other is Indian.
Roof, a white supremacist whose racial manifesto said the Jewish “problem” would be solved “if we could somehow destroy the Jewish identity,” said in a handwritten request filed Monday with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia that the attorneys’ ethnic backgrounds are “a barrier to effective communication.”
“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,” he also wrote, The Associated Press reported.
Roof, 23, was convicted on 33 counts, including hate crimes, and sentenced to death in January for the June 2015 murders at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. The manifesto outlining his views is full of racist and anti-Semitic rants.
Roof noted in his request that his primary attorney during the original trial, David Isaac Bruck, a noted death penalty lawyer, also was Jewish, and said that Bruck’s “ethnicity was a constant source of conflict even with my constant efforts to look past it.”