Charleston church shooter making appellate arguments

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FILE – In this June 19, 2015 file photo, Dylann Storm Roof appears via video before a judge, in Charleston, S.C., Friday, June 19, 2015. Roof is accused of killing nine people inside Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. (Centralized Bond Hearing Court via AP)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The man on federal death row for the racist slayings of nine members of a Black South Carolina congregation is making his appellate argument that his conviction and death sentence should be overturned.

Oral arguments in the case of Dylann Roof are scheduled to be held Tuesday before a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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In 2017, Roof became the first person in the U.S. sentenced to death for a federal hate crime.

Authorities have said Roof opened fire during the closing prayer of a 2015 Bible study session at Charleston’s Mother Emanuel AME Church, raining down dozens of bullets on those assembled.

Roof was 21 years old at the time.

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