Dylann Roof’s Lawyers Look to Have Death Penalty Tossed

FILE - This June 18, 2015, file photo, provided by the Charleston County Sheriff's Office shows Dylann Roof. Prosecutors who wanted to show that Roof was a cruel, angry racist simply used his own words at his death penalty trial on charges he killed nine black people at a Charleston church. Roof's two-hour videotaped confession less than a day after the June 2015 shooting and a handwritten journal found in his car when he was arrested were introduced into evidence Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. (Charleston County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)
FILE - This June 18, 2015, file photo, provided by the Charleston County Sheriff's Office shows Dylann Roof. Prosecutors who wanted to show that Roof was a cruel, angry racist simply used his own words at his death penalty trial on charges he killed nine black people at a Charleston church. Roof's two-hour videotaped confession less than a day after the June 2015 shooting and a handwritten journal found in his car when he was arrested were introduced into evidence Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. (Charleston County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)

(ABC) — Lawyers for Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof have filed a motion for a new trial and are looking to throw out the death penalty sentences in the case.

The motion, filed in South Carolina federal court, questions whether Roof’s attack was plotted and carried out wholly within the state, and therefore not a federal case, as well as whether the hate crimes he was convicted of were punishable by death.

“A finding in his favor on this motion would resolve the case, since he would not challenge further the resulting sentences of life in prison without the possibility of release,” the lawyers wrote.

Roof was sentenced to death last month after he was convicted of hate crimes in federal court. He killed nine black churchgoers during a bible style at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston in June 2015.

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