Dylann Roof, against the advice of the judge in his own hate crime murder case, has elected to represent himself. The motion surprised many on Monday morning as jury selection was set to begin. The experienced attorneys that were representing Roof on the multiple hate crime murder charges are now required to serve in an advisory/standby capacity.
While the statistics are grim for defendants that represent themselves, most that choose to do so are exploiting the process either to have a forum to justify their crime or expound on some other delusional agenda. Critics are concerned that Roof will use the opportunity to harass his victims' families and survivors. While the judge cautioned Roof about representing himself, he had previously determined that Roof was competent to stand trial, over his attorneys' objections.