Dylann Roof’s request to represent himself was odd but not unprecedented

YAHOO NEWS, 28 NOVEMBER 2016, FEAT. PROF. COLIN MILLER:

The white supremacist accused of shooting nine African-American parishioners at a historically black church in South Carolina will act as his own attorney in federal court, defying the recommended practice of relying on counsel.

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel reluctantly granted accused gunman Dylann Roof’s request Monday morning. Many people were surprised that he (or anyone) would choose to go it alone in a death penalty trial.

Richard J. Bonnie, a professor of law at the University of Virginia, said the SupremeCourt acknowledged that in most cases it won’t be in the best legal interests of clients to represent themselves, particularly given the lack of familiarity with legal procedures and the nature of their rights.

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