(JTA) — Dylann Roof, who was sentenced to death for killing nine black worshippers in a shooting rampage at a church Charleston, South Carolina, was denied his request to fire the attorneys handling his appeal because one is Jewish and the other is Indian.
On Tuesday, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia denied his request, which was made in a handwritten-motion filed with the court.
“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,” read part of the request made the previous day by Roof, a white supremacist whose racial manifesto said the Jewish “problem” would be solved “if we could somehow destroy the Jewish identity.”
Attorneys Alexandra Yates and Sapna Mirchandani are handling Roof’s appeal.
The court’s response on Tuesday did not provide any comment on the request, according to the Washington Post, saying only “The court denies the motion for substitution of counsel on appeal.”
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.” During his original trial, Roof sought to fire Bruck, whom Roof threatened to kill if he ever got out of jail.