The Case Against Dylann Roof

Dan Abrams and Michael German examine the possible charges the Charleston suspect may face.
3:45 | 06/21/15

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Transcript for The Case Against Dylann Roof
Now to dylann roof, that manifesto, those hateful words police are investigating -- ABC's legal analyst Dan Abrams and Michael German, a former FBI agent who infiltrated white supremacist groups join us now. Michael, you have seen reports of that manifesto that they're looking into, as dylann roof may have written it, what does that tell you about him? Where does that kind of hate come from? I think it fits a pattern where, individuals have some deep-seeded hatred or fear or frustration, and they're looking for some justification for it. So, they go to the internet, they go to different groups or organizations, trying to find some justification, where their anger and frustration can fit in. You once infiltrated a white supremacist group, but it doesn't appear he was affiliated with any group, is this something new, lone wolf? No, it's not new. The above-ground groups, the groups you hear about, the so-called hate groups, tend not to be involved in criminal activity. Because they're identifiable. It's not usual. They're actually instructed to go out and do something on their own or with a small cell of like-minded people. And Dan Abrams, that brings to mind, they're charging him or looking into it as a hate crime, but there seems to be so many similarities to terrorism, does it matter what they charge him with? Does it matter if it's hate crime, terrorism? We need to separate it out into the federal and state possible charges. Under South Carolina law, there actually isn't a hate crime law, so, if they were going to pursue this as a hate crime, they would have to do it federally. The more likely scenario, though, is that he gets charged in South Carolina, under their state law, and faces the possibility of the death penalty, the death penalty would be much harder, there would be more convolated way to get there. Garden variety murder case, where the death penalty is on the table in the killing of these nine people. And do you see any defense here for dylann roof, if you were dylann roof's lawyer? Not as of right now, I mean, it seems he's cooperating with the authorities. Look, in occasional cases you see someone who comes forward, who cooperates with the authorities, sometimes you'll see someone plead guilty in a case like this, you know people talk about immediately about the insanity defense. The insanity defense is so hard to win, particularly in a case like this, where seems to have been so much sort of premeditation and thought. What he was going to do and why he was going to do it. When you think of his defense, I think his lawyers right now are trying to sort out exactly what happened here and trying to just get through these initial proceedings, figure out, is this going to be tried in state or federal court? And make the ultimate determine -- ultimate determination which is, is my client going to plead guilty? Thank you very much, Dan. And Michael.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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