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 Dylann Roof - New Information and April Hearing

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PostSubject: Dylann Roof - New Information and April Hearing   Sat Apr 15, 2017 8:57 am

I was just wondering if anybody would like to discuss all the new information we have just got (and will hopefully continue to get!) on Dylann Roof?

Specifically the April hearing, his letters to his attorneys and the persecution, his opinions about the judge and jury "liking him" so they won't give him the death penalty, mental health analysis, IQ scores. Also, the screenplay (lol), visitation videos, wanting/believing that agroup of white nationalists will break him out of prison and make him governer of South Carolina!? His grandfathers speech, his statement about being "kept in the dark" etc.

Honestly, I don't know what to think! First of all, he practically sabotaged his case by representing himself etc. At that point I thought he wanted the death penalty. Now, he is trying to get life in prison, but he is totally delusional. Honestly, he thinks that he is a "special case" and that just because the jeudge and jury liked him, they would'nt give him death.

But its kind of sad beacuse the only hope of him actually getting life withouth parole would be to emphasise his mental health problems. He is against this because this would show that he was'nt the "perfect specimen" and that maybe his actions would be discounted by other white supremasists because of this. Dylann said “one day there would be a white nationalist revolution and that if he was diagnosed as mentally ill or defective his acts in furtherance of that desired revolution would be discredited and his reputation as a ‘perfect specimen’ would be destroyed." In  regards to the whole mental illness thing, his lawyers said "(W)e are now faced with a client who would rather die than be labeled mentally ill or neuro-developmentally impaired, and who would rather communicate and ally himself with those who propose to execute him than us" .

The other thing I'm not sure about is his statement about him having no real defence. Just after that he says "When I say I ahve no real defense I mean that I have no defense that my lawyers would present or that would be acceptable to the court". I wonder what defense he was referencing?
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PostSubject: Re: Dylann Roof - New Information and April Hearing   Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:54 pm

Does anyone know where to find all of the documents that were unsealed? I located a couple of documents so far
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but my searches have mostly turned up news articles that talk about the contents of the documents. I would rather go straight to the documents without having to search for and read dozens of articles about them that only give some of the facts.

I don't know what to think either. The information in that first document is kind of outrageous. I thought he was odd when he wrote about wishing that he was deaf or hard of hearing because it would be peaceful (though it probably should have clicked for me when he killed a group of churchgoers), but this is even stranger.

I wonder whether he is truly autistic. I would like to see the specific information that led to the suspicion but I have only seen vague lists of traits. I didn't think that he was an idiot but I am surprised that his IQ was measured to be so high (according to one source I read, I think it was 141, but I don't know if that's an exaggeration). However, the fact that he has a high overall IQ but deficiencies in processing and comprehending information would be consistent with the uneven capabilities of some people with autism. The little details, like a fixation on texture and smell of his sweater while on trial for mass murder and his naivete about how other people might view the situation (they won't sentence him to death because "people aren't that mean") could also be consistent with autism.

Aside from that, the diagnoses of schizoid personality disorder and social anxiety disorder seem to directly contradict each other. One is rather indifferent to other people, including both compliments and criticism, and avoids relationships because of a lack of interest in intimacy and the other is highly sensitive to other people and despite a desire to connect, may avoid relationships because of fear of criticism or rejection.

Roof seemed paranoid or worried about certain things that shouldn't have bothered him and comfortable with things that should have. I don't know if he's actually delusional or doesn't understand exactly how the world works, or was afraid to accept the seriousness of his situation. If he really had issues comprehending the reality of the situation, that probably should have factored into sentencing because it would suggest that he may not have fully appreciated his actions when he was committing mass murder. However, he seemed to understand what he was doing on an intellectual level and had rationalizations for what he did so maybe he did understand but didn't care.

This information makes everything even more strange. Usually, when someone acts like a kook during their trial, you might wonder if it's because they are trying to use a mental health defense. He refused that so obviously, this is just who he was.

I also found this article to be fascinating.
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PostSubject: Re: Dylann Roof - New Information and April Hearing   Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:26 am

Wow, you have really interesting points! To be honest, I get most of my information of the unsealed documents and other news about Dylann, from charlestonchurchmassacre on tumblr, their blog is so informative, links loads of documents and is really up to date about everything new that happens. (I know that they also have a Scribd link on their page which brings you to loads of documents) Or you can go to their FAQ/Articles also.

I definitely agree that social anxiety disorder and schizoid personality disorder SEEM mutually exclusive, although from what I've read, that is not necessarily true. (I totally cannot back this up because i just read a few things on psychforum, there doesn't seem to be a reputable site out there to argue either side, so I'll have to do more research!

Also, I agree with what you say about Dylann not understanding how the world works or not wanting to understand how it works, and the seriousness of what he has done. I mean, thus far he has shown absolutely no remorse, except for "feeling bad" that he killed nine people when he expected to kill less. Not during the testimones, his grandfathers speech etc. Honestly, you'd expect him to show a little emotion at some stage, but hes always cold and impassive. I think this may be as a coping mechanism for him or something, like if he doesn't accept responsibility on an emotional level, maybe it didn't happen?

I also definitely don't think that hes faking all this, it seems like he'd rather anything than being labeled "mentally ill". His preoccupation with very small details is also interesting, such as the can of spagettios.

My favourite article has to be this. I wish I could quote it all because its so great!

This whole case is an absolute enigma. Like a Star @ heaven
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PostSubject: Re: Dylann Roof - New Information and April Hearing   Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:43 pm

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Calling his attorneys "the sneakiest group of people I have ever met,” Dylann Roof reached out to federal prosecutors on the eve of his hate crimes trial in an effort to scuttle a planned mental health defense aimed at sparing him the death penalty.

Roof blistered his legal team in a three-page jailhouse letter, accusing them of tricking him into undergoing tests to challenge his competency to stand trial for killing nine black worshippers at Charleston's Emanuel AME Church in June 2015.

Roof told prosecutors he wanted no part of this strategy, which he labeled "a lie."

"Because I have no real defense, my lawyers have been forced to grasp at straws and present a pathetic, fraudulent excuse for a defense in my name," he wrote in early November. "They have regularly told me in an aggressive manner that I have no say in my own defense, that my input doesn't matter, and that there is nothing I can do about it."

Roof's letter was among more than 70 filings that U.S. District Court Judge Richard Gergel unsealed Tuesday – one day after the 23-year-old white supremacist pleaded guilty to nine counts of murder in state court. Though Roof’s federal trial ended in January with a death sentence, Gergel had been reluctant to release records about his mental status while the state case was pending.

The newly unsealed documents show procedural disagreements over how Roof’s mental health would be evaluated and growing discord between the killer and his top-flight legal team of capital defense specialists.

Roof railed at their “slick” tactics, and they in turn expressed frustration with a “delusional” client who seemed preoccupied with fantasies that white supremacists would break him out of prison and make him governor of South Carolina, the documents show.

In the handwritten November letter to “Prosecution,” Roof alleged that his legal team had told him he was being tested to determine if a thyroid condition had affected his brain when they were really compiling evidence to challenge his competency.

He said he wanted the people trying to convict him to know that “what my lawyers plan to say in my defense is a lie and will be said without my consent or permission.”

“My lawyers have purposely kept me in the dark about my defense until the last minute in order to prevent me from being able to do anything about it, which is why I have been forced to write to you,” he stated. “Throughout my case they have used scare tactics, threats, manipulation, and outright lies to further their own, not my, agenda.”

He warned prosecutors not to let his legal team “fool you or the court like they’ve fooled me.”

Prosecutors notified Roof's lawyers after receiving the letter, and lead defense attorney David Bruck agreed that Gergel, the trial judge, needed to see the missive, according to a chain of emails.

After a closed-door meeting on Nov. 7, Roof's lawyers pleaded with the judge to delay planned jury selection in the case so Roof could undergo an extensive mental competency review. They repeatedly described Roof as delusional, and noted his "depression, extreme anxiety and autism spectrum disorder."

They stated that their tenuous working relationship with him had suffered "a severe rupture" when he "openly attempted to sabotage his own case" by reaching out to prosecutors.

"(W)e are now faced with a client who would rather die than be labeled mentally ill or neuro-developmentally impaired, and who would rather communicate and ally himself with those who propose to execute him than us," his attorneys wrote.

The attorneys stated that Roof believed "the very white nationalists whom he considers his allies" would turn on him and persecute him for his "perceived infirmities" if he were to be labeled incompetent. They stated that Roof had "an irrational belief that being labeled mentally impaired will affect the defendant's standing with some hypothetical white nationalists whom the defendant has never met or communicated with — and cannot even name — but whom he believes may appoint him to a high government position some day."

They attached notes indicating that Roof had been so distracted by his delusional ideas that he was unable to respond to the basic needs of his defense. Among his odd notions was a fantasy that white supremacists would stage a prison break to rescue him from captivity, they said.

"His single-minded focus on being rescued and made governor of South Carolina makes salient to him things that are irrational and he cannot rationally assist counsel as a result," they stated.

Gergel agreed to delay jury selection until later that same month, but he balked at sending Roof to a federal Bureau of Prisons medical facility for an extended evaluation. Roof was instead evaluated at the Charleston County jail by a local forensic psychiatrist, James Ballenger.

Ballenger met with Roof for eight hours over three sessions and found no evidence of an undiagnosed psychosis, as his attorneys contended. Rather, the psychiatrist found Roof’s conduct appeared to be attributable to his “deep racial prejudice,” according to a newly unsealed Nov. 25 ruling by Gergel.

Though Roof met the criteria for social anxiety disorder, mixed substance abuse disorder, schizoid personality disorder, depression, and possible autistic spectrum disorder, the psychiatrist determined none of those conditions rendered him incompetent to stand trial, the ruling stated.

During his interviews with Ballenger, Roof described himself as “a political prisoner, similar to a Muslim extremist or Jihadist,” Gergel wrote in the ruling. He told the psychiatrist his actions were about “waking up white people” and that shooting up a black church “was the most outrageous thing he could do,” the document stated.

Roof also explained that he hoped “one day there would be a white nationalist revolution and that if he was diagnosed as mentally ill or defective his acts in furtherance of that desired revolution would be discredited and his reputation as a ‘perfect specimen’ would be destroyed."

Roof later maintained during a closed court hearing that a defense challenging his mental health “discredits the reason why I did the crime,” the ruling stated.

Gergel found Roof fit to stand trial, and he went on to represent himself during the trial's penalty phase to keep jurors from hearing evidence related to his mental health.

"There's nothing wrong with me psychologically," Roof insisted in his opening statement.

Roof was convicted in December of 33 federal offenses stemming from the racially motivated killings, which occurred during a Bible study. He was sentenced to death the following month. He is expected to be transferred to federal custody following his guilty plea in state court, where he was sentenced to nine life terms in prison for his crimes.

In his 15-page ruling, Gergel noted that Roof had continued to object to the release of records pertaining to his mental competency. But the judge ruled there is "manifest public interest" in evidence supporting his decision that Roof was mentally fit to stand trial for a capital offense.

"The Court understands Defendant does not wish to have this material unsealed, but Defendant's wishes are entitled to no weight," Gergel wrote.

Court staff had not posted all of the newly unsealed documents by late Tuesday, and Gergel held back others — including a full transcript of a second Roof competency hearing — so he can consider possible redaction requests offered by the defense.
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PostSubject: Re: Dylann Roof - New Information and April Hearing   Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:59 am

I am honestly not sure if anything will come from this? Like, we only know a minute part of the information, there is loads more of information in the sealed documents, so I'm sure its even more complicated than we think! Could Dylann schedule a retrial, or is it too late for that? Even if he could, I doubt he would give his views on his lawyers etc. We obviously know how Dylann feels about them, and they did release those statements about his behaviour too... although, at this point does it matter that they're not on good terms? (especially Dylann and Bruck) given that his fate has already been decided? (I'm really not 100% sure on America's criminal court system sooo... sorry!)

“anyone...who thinks I am filled with hate has no idea what real hate is,”
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