SENTENCED: Dylann Roof
DYLANN ROOF has been sentenced to death for the murders of nine black church members during a Bible study in Charleston, South Carolina.
Roof showed no remorse ahead of sentencing: 'I still feel I had to do it'.
The mass murderer was convicted last month of 33 federal charges, including murder and hate crimes. After deliberating over his sentence for around three hours on Tuesday (Jan 10), they announced their decision that he should be executed.
Earlier on Tuesday, Roof had told the court he was not sure “what good it would do” to ask jurors for life in prison instead of execution, showing no remorse for the massacre.
Prosecutors said Roof deserved execution because he went to the historic Emanuel AME church in Charleston, South Carolina, with a gun and a “hateful heart”.
Assistant US attorney Jay Richardson said the 12 people Roof targeted were God-fearing church members who opened the door for a white stranger with a smile. Three people survived.
“They welcomed a 13th person that night ... with a kind word, a Bible, a handout and a chair,” Richardson said during his closing argument. “He had come with a hateful heart and a Glock .45.”
Nearly two dozen friends and relatives of the victims testified during the sentencing phase of the trial. They share memories of their lost loved ones, but didn't say whether Roof should face the death penalty.
Roof acted as his own attorney and did not question any witnesses or put up any evidence.
He is also the first person in the U.S. to be given the death penalty in federal court for a hate crime.