CHARLESTON, S. C. — What's the suitable punishment for one of the most hateful and brutal mass shootings in U.S. history?
Well, if you ask the attorney for the accused Charleston shooter — Dylan Roof — it's definitely not the death penalty. Roof, 22, is accused of killing nine African-American parishioners during a prayer meeting in their church because he wanted to start an alleged race war.
Roof's lawyers filed a legal challenge Monday evening over the 'constitutionality' of the death penalty.
Roof's attorneys claim both the death penalty and federal death penalty law are unconstitutional for a laundry list of reasons, mainly because they say it amounts to 'cruel and unusual punishment' and because there's a high rate of conviction errors.
The legal team said the only reason it is mounting the challenge is because the Feds rejected Roof's offer to plead guilty and accept multiple life sentences without the possibility of parole — if they dropped the death penalty.
But some might argue that if there were ever a case justifying the death penalty, Roof's case is it.
Over the years, some notorious convicted killers have escaped the death penalty through legal maneuvers or other lucky breaks, such as mass murderer.
Charles Manson being sentenced to death only to have the State of California throw out the death penalty and effectively reduce his sentence to life in prison.
Will Roof get a lucky break like Manson did, or will his filings get shot down in court?
The Feds have until August 21 to make a decision.