Dylann Roof’s chances for a new appellate hearing continue to dwindle, with a court refusing to reconsider recusing itself from his appeal over his death sentence and conviction in the 2015 racist slayings of nine members of a Black South Carolina congregation.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued the decision on Tuesday.
All of the judges from the 4th Circuit, which covers South Carolina, have recused themselves from hearing Roof’s case. No explicit reason was given in a May notice, although one of the judges, Jay Richardson, prosecuted Roof’s case as an assistant U.S. attorney in 2017, when 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 Bible study at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, raining down dozens of bullets on those assembled. He was 21 at the time.