Published on: 10 January 2017 Andrea Sturdivant
Dylann Roof faces the death sentence for Charleston Emanuel Church Massacre.
CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA-Dylann Roof was sentenced to death Tuesday for the Charleston Emanuel church massacre for killing nine black church members during Bible study in a calculated, motivated attack. Roof is the first person to face punishment for federal hate crime charges. The jurors in Roof’s trial reached a verdict in the penalty stage, after three hours of deliberation.
Jurors weighing in on Roof’s trial
Wrapping up the trial, Roof specifically didn’t ask jurors to spare his life, saying that he “had to” kill the nine people that night in Bible study at Emanuel AME Church according to the Associated Press. At the beginning of Roof’s trial he asserted that he wasn’t mentally- ill and didn’t ask the jurors or family of the victims for forgiveness.
According to the Associated Press, Prosecutors in the case concentrated on the ghastly nature of the massacre of nine black churchgoers attending a June 2015 Bible study at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church. Roof spoke to the jury about weighing in on the factors of his case. He noted to one of the jurors that he had to disagree to spare his life. When the juror read the verdict, Roof stood apathetic and unemotional. The courts say he will be formally sentenced Wednesday.
The idea that Roof wanted
Roof confessed to the FBI agents when they arrested him a day after the June 17, 2015, massacre that he wanted the shootings to bring back segregation. However the massacre had a merging effect, as the state of South Carolina took down the Confederate flag from its Statehouse for the first time in more than 50 years, and other states followed suit. Dylann Roof posed with the confederate flag in various photos that appeared on his social media pages, according to the Associated Press.
Roof had specifically targeted Emanuel AME Church, one of the oldest African Methodist Episcopal churches in the South, to carry out the emotionless, calculated slaughter, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Richardson said. Richardson also said, those 12 churchgoers who Roof targeted opened the door for a complete stranger with a kind smile. That day three people survived the ghastly attack, according to the Associated Press.
Testimony from families of the victims
Tuesday in court, several friends and relatives of the victims testified during the sentencing stage of the trial. The relatives and friends shared fond memories of their loved ones, and talked about a future without them.
Clementa Pinckney, the church pastor and a democratic state senator also addressed the court. In the address, Pinckney discussed the great history of Emanuel and what its mission was all about. Roof acted as his own defense and attorney. The last person who was sentenced to death was the Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in 2015.