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Dylann Roof's attorneys challenging constitutionality of death penalty

Dylann Roof  (Source: Live 5) Dylann Roof (Source: Live 5)
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

Lawyers for the accused AME Church shooter filed a motion in federal court on Monday challenging the constitutionality of the death penalty.

Dylann Roof's laywers claim it violates the 5th and 8th amendments.  

They cite the rate of errors, unavoidable delay built into the process and the fact that several states have evolved away from capital punishment among other reasons.

"This court should declare the FDPA (Federal Death Penalty Act) unconstitutional and order that this case proceed as a non-capital case," attorneys stated in the motion."Such a ruling would permit the defendant to enter his guilty plea and proceed to a sentencing at which - after the Court had heard from any survivors or victim family members who might wish to speak - he would be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of release, and this prosecution would conclude."

Roof is facing federal and state charges after police say he shot and killed nine people inside Mother Emanuel last summer.

His federal trial is scheduled to begin in November. 

Copyright 2016 WCSC. All rights reserved. 

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