“I still feel like I had to do it,” Dylann Roof says, as he’s sentenced to death for killing 9 churchgoers
Dylann Roof, a white supremacist who shot to death nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, has been sentenced to death by a federal jury.
Roof, who was convicted last month of 33 federal charges, including hate crimes resulting in death, was condemned to death on Tuesday by a unanimous jury after about three hours of deliberations.
Roof is the first person to get the death penalty for federal hate crimes. Federal judge Richard Gergel will formally deliver Roof’s sentence on Wednesday morning at the Charleston courthouse.
The verdict reached by the jury is binding. Earlier on Tuesday, the 22-year-old threw away his one last chance to plead for his life in front of the jurors, telling them: “I still feel like I had to do it.
I have the right to ask you to give me a life sentence, but I’m not sure what good it would do anyway.” The attacker specifically picked out Emanuel AME Church, the South’s oldest black church, to carry out the massacre, Assistant US Attorney Jay Richardson said.
A Bible study group at the Church was just beginning its closing prayer when Roof, a self-avowed Nazi and Ku Klux Klan sympathiser opened fire, killing 9 people. He stood over some of the fallen victims, shooting them again as they lay on the floor.