Jury Sentences Dylann Roof to Death for Charleston Church Massacre

Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion | 1/10/2017 | Mary Chastain
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Dylann Roof received the death penalty from a federal jury for murdering nine black people at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC, in June 2015. It took the jury less than three hours to reach their verdict. Judge Richard Gergel will impose the sentence of Roof at 9:30AM on Wednesday.

The jury recommended the death penalty on all 18 counts Roof faced that carried the sentence.

Roof - Fire - Members - Church - Circle

Roof opened fire on the members of the church after they welcomed him into their circle with open arms and allowed him to sit next to the pastor. He hoped his crime would spark a race war.

Roof represented himself during the sentencing phase. He took the podium after Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Richardson delivered his two-hour closing statements. Roof told the jury “that he wasn’t lying when he told FBI agents that he doesn’t hate black people.” Instead, he said “that he doesn’t like what black people do.” He continued:

Someone - Mind - Church - Kill - People

“I think it’s safe to say that someone in their right mind wouldn’t go into a church and kill people,” he said. “You might remember in my confession to the FBI, I told them I had to do it. Obviously, that isn’t true because I didn’t have to do it. I didn’t have to do anything. But what I meant when I said that was I felt like I had to do that. And I still feel like I had to do it.”

Loved ones of the nine people Roof killed crammed every seat in one side of the courtroom and listened with quiet but intense focus as he spoke. None of Roof’s family members attended.

Roof - Prosecution - Anyone - Ones

Roof went on to say that he is misunderstood but he didn’t attempt to explain himself further, offering only that “the prosecution and anyone else who hates me are the ones who have...
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