Dylan Roof, who was found guilty of murdering nine people who were attending a prayer meeting at a South Carolina Black church back in 2015, is petitioning a full federal appeals court to review his death sentence, Axios reports.
Roof’s first appeal was rejected in August after he became the first person in the U.S. to be sentenced to death on federal hate crime charges. According to Roof’s lawyers, prosecutors defied past Supreme Court rulings by arguing he deserved the death penalty “based on victim worth.”
“The Panel’s decision conflicts with this precedent, opening the door to death sentences based on victims’ goodness and worth,” Roof’s lawyers wrote in the court filing. “Especially troubling, it sanctions reliance on victims’ religiosity as evidence of that heightened worth.”
If Roof’s appeal is granted, his entire case will be reheard.