CHARLESTON, S.C. – An attorney defending the man accused of fatally shooting nine black parishioners in Charleston, South Carolina, says a state prosecutor is making reckless misstatements by implying a federal death sentence might not be carried out.
Twenty-two-year-old Roof faces death penalty trials in state and federal courts in the shooting deaths of the parishioners at Emanuel AME Church a year ago.
Prosecutor Scarlett Wilson wants a judge to set the state trial before the federal trial. She notes the last federal execution was 13 years ago and the state has no confidence a federal death sentence would be carried out.
Attorney David Bruck says Wilson's position could mislead potential federal jurors to believe that their sentencing verdict would have no effect.