Charleston Church Massacre: Shooter Dylann Roof Sentenced to Death
Jan 11, 2017 10:07 AM EST
Convicted Charleston church shooter, Dylann Roof is sentenced to death penalty by the federal jury. The jury of 10 women and 2 men who found Roof guilty of 33 counts of attack delivered their verdict in agreement after three hours of deliberations in an intense penalty phase of trial.
Roof, a 22-year-old self-proclaimed white supremacist, killed nine black churchgoers at Charleston's Emanuel AME Church during a Bible study in June 2015.
A Justice Department spokesman said that Roof will become the first federal hate crime defendant to be sentenced to death penalty. Meanwhile, only three federal prisoners have been executed in the U.S. up till the period of reinstatement of federal death penalty in 1998.
Jurors convicted Roof last month of murder and hate crimes charges. In the penalty phase of trial, nearly 38 victims of the Charleston shootings were present to testify during the proceedings over four days of testimony. Roof showed not one ounce of remorse as he represented himself in the trial proceeding. In a brief closing statement in the penalty proceeding of his trial, Roof said that he felt like I had to do the shootings, and still do feel like I had to do it. However, he suggested that he would like to be spared by the court.
In his closing statement, Roof mentioned he had no choice but to kill the nine worshippers and he does not regret it. The white supremacist shooter showed no expression as the judge of U.S. District Court, Richard Gergel announced the verdict.
Melvin, brother to one of the victims of June 2015 attack told the reporters, "Today we had justice for my sister Cynthia." He said that the verdict on Roof cannot bring his sister back. "This is a very hollow victory, because my sister is still gone. But what it can do is just send a message to those who feel the way he feels that this community will not tolerate it."