Dylann Roof sentenced to death for killing 9 black church members in 2015 Charleston shooting

Dylann Roof / Source: Wikipedia
Dylann Roof / Source: Wikipedia

Dylann Roof has been sentenced to death.

Roof was convicted of killing nine black church members in a racially motivated attack on June 17, 2015. He is the first to get the death penalty for federal hate crimes.

The jury reached a decision after about three hours of deliberations.

Roof, who is white, was convicted last month of all 33 federal charges against him. During the penalty phase of the trial, he represented himself and told jurors he didn't have a mental illness, but he didn't offer any remorse or ask that his life be spared. 

In a lengthy confession, Roof told FBI agents he wanted to bring back segregation or perhaps start a race war with the slayings.

The jury's decision must be unanimous. If the panel is unable to agree on whether the white gunman should be executed, he automatically gets a life sentence.

The jury on Tuesday asked U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel for clarification on some of the mitigating factors they're being asked to consider, including if Roof could safely be confined if he were sentenced to life in prison. The judge told jurors to re-read the instructions he provided them to figure out what that means.

Jurors also asked to re-watch a speech by the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who was one of the nine people Roof killed during a Bible study in 2015.

Roof didn't ask jurors to spare his life and told them he still feels he "had to" kill the nine Bible study attendees at Emanuel AME Church.

Roof gave a brief closing of his own, telling jurors he knew he could ask them to spare his life but wasn't sure "what good that would do."

Roof represented himself in these proceedings and also told jurors he knew only one of them had to disagree with the others in order for him to avoid a death sentence.


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories you may be interested in - includes Advertiser Stories