Prosecutors ask for mitigating factors in Charleston shooting

FILE - In this June 19, 2015, file photo, police tape surrounds the parking lot behind the AME Emanuel Church as FBI forensic experts work the crime scene, where nine people where shot by Dylann Storm Roof, in Charleston, S.C. After nine black parishioners were slain at a Charleston church, South Carolina did what many thought would never happen: It moved the Confederate flag off Statehouse grounds. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, File)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – Federal prosecutors in South Carolina want to know what mitigating factors the defense plans to present during the sentencing phase of the death penalty trial of accused Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof.

Prosecutors said in court documents filed Monday such disclosure before the trial was ordered in the Boston Marathon bombing case. Prosecutors say providing the information beforehand will allow the government to investigate defense claims and help seat an impartial jury.

Mitigating circumstances such as drug abuse or mental illness relied on in sentencing are generally not required to be revealed until after a defendant is found guilty.

But the government wants the judge to order the defense to reveal such factors by Oct. 1. The 22-year-old Roof stands trial Nov. 7 in the slayings of nine parishioners at Emanuel AME Church.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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