HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Solicitor Jimmy Richardson breaks down the death penalty in the Dylann Roof case.
Sitting down with 15th Circuit Judicial Circuit Solicitor, Jimmy Richardson, WMBF News went over why it could be 10 to 15 years before Dylann Roof is executed for his crimes, what he sees being challenged on a federal level and how a state death penalty ruling could help keep Dylann Roof on death row.
"You get this stuff all the time, well how can you kill him twice? But the truth of it is, the upper courts really bend over backwards to overturn sentences," Richardson explained.
Solicitor Jimmy Richardson says this is especially true, when talking the death penalty. Noting three out of four cases are overturned and have to be retried. Through his years, he says he's seen that kind of retrial come back decades later.
"If that's any indication about 75 percent being overturned for some reason or another it's not a safe bet to say simply because a jury of twelve people convicted him of the death penalty in the federal system, that, that will stick," he added.
Richardson says two factors hold inmates on death row. One being, an ingredient in the serum to execute someone is no longer readily available on both the state and federal levels and then, this appellate process.
When it comes to Roof, Richardson says a state trial could only help back up the initial death penalty ruling especially since Roof represented himself through the federal sentencing phase.
"They are definitely going to look at that," he said.
"It's a much tougher case if there is not someone on the other side, and it raises tons of appellate issues, but the other way if the judge would have said no, I'm not going to let you represent yourself, that would have been an automatic appeal, and it would have been overturned. We've seen that too many times," he explained.
Whether you're for, or against the death penalty... Richardson explained his stance on the ruling.
"I can tell you in the federal system it is a rarity to go for the death penalty, and in the state system it's a rarity. It really is held for the worst of the worst. This person is accused and now convicted of having murdered nine people. If the death penalty is going to be there, then somebody killing nine people, should be at the top of the list to get it," he said.
When talking about the serum to execute someone, Richardson says that can be resolved on the legislative level and he sees it being addressed in this legislative session.
The state trial for Dylann Roof is delayed indefinitely.