Charleston church shooter making appellate arguments

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FILE – In this Thursday, June 18, 2015, file photo, mourners pass by a makeshift memorial on the sidewalk in front of the Emanuel AME Church following a shooting by Dylann Roof in Charleston, S.C. South Carolina is one step closer to becoming the 48th state in the nation to pass a hate crime law. House representatives gave key approval by a 79-29 vote Wednesday, April 7, 2021, on the proposal to allow harsher penalties for certain crimes motivated by hatred. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, File)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The man on federal death row for the racist slayings of nine members of a Black South Carolina congregation is making his appellate argument that his conviction and death sentence should be overturned.

Oral arguments in the case of Dylann Roof are scheduled to be held Tuesday before a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In 2017, Roof became the first person in the U.S. sentenced to death for a federal hate crime.

Authorities have said Roof opened fire during the closing prayer of a 2015 Bible study session at Charleston’s Mother Emanuel AME Church, raining down dozens of bullets on those assembled.

Roof was 21 years old at the time.

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