Dylann Roof, who was convicted of killing nine members of a Black church congregation in Charleston, S.C., is appealing his conviction on grounds that the victims of his horrific crime were put in a sympathetic light during his trial.
NBC News reports Roof has filed a petition with the 4th U.S. Circuit court of appeals is asking for the full court to hear his case.
In August, a three-judge panel unanimously upheld his federal conviction and death sentence for the killings and rejected the argument that Roof wasn’t competent to stand trial.
In the latest filing, Roof’s attorneys claimed prosecutors highlighted the victims’ “goodness and worth,” which resulted in Roof unfairly being sentenced to death. His lawyers also said the fact that the victims’ religiosity was also used to make them appear more sympathetic, The Independent reports.
Roof was found guilty of killing nine people inside Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston during a Bible study on June 17, 2015. In 2017, he became the first person in the U.S. sentenced to death for a federal hate crime.