Dylann Roof Sentenced to Death
CHARLESTON, S.C. – The man that massacred parishioners at Emanuel AME Church in 2015 has been sentenced to death in South Carolina.
Dylann Roof was convicted of murdering nine people during a prayer service, including the senior pastor. Roof, a white supremacist, hoped that murdering black victims would ignite a race war.
Fox News reported that Roof looked down silently as the panel announced its decision in U.S. District Court in Charleston, S.C. late Tuesday afternoon.
After the jury left the courtroom, Roof asked Judge Richard Gergel for new lawyers. Gergel told Roof he could make that argument at his formal sentencing hearing Wednesday morning.
The convicted murderer insisted on representing himself in the sentencing phase of his trial. Roof’s court-appointed defense team, which included renowned lawyer and capital punishment opponent David Bruck, was cast aside.
“We want to express our sympathy to all of the families who were so grievously hurt by Dylann Roof’s actions,” Roof’s defense said in a statement. “Today’s sentencing decision means that this case will not be over for a very long time. We are sorry that, despite our best efforts, the legal proceedings have shed so little light on the reasons for this tragedy.”
Roof’s family said in a statement they will “continue to pray for the Emanuel AME families and the Charleston community.”
“We will struggle as long as we live to understand why he committed this horrible attack, which caused so much pain to so many good people,” the statement read. “We wish to express the grief we feel for the victims of his crimes, and our sympathy to the many families he has hurt.”
Roof’s closing argument left people scratching their head:
“Wouldn’t it be fair to say that the prosecution hates me because they’re trying to give me the death penalty?” Roof asked rhetorically. “Anyone who hates anything, in their mind has a good reason for it. And sometimes that’s because they’ve been misled and sometimes it isn’t. But I would say that in this case the prosecution, along with anyone else who hates me, are the ones who have been misled. That’s all.”
He finished in about five minutes.