A unanimous jury sentenced Dylann Roof to death in the killing of nine black churchgoers as they attended Bible study in Charleston, South Carolina in June 2015.
In his final argument to jurors, 22 year old Dylann Roof said he felt like he had to carry out the slayings on June 17, 2015.
The jurors deliberating the penalty phase of the trial spent about three hours making the decision for Roof’s sentence. Before jurors went to deliberate, Roof was unrepentant at his federal capital trial on Tuesday.
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He told jurors that he still felt killing nine black people at a South Carolina church was something he had to do and did not ask the jury to spare his life for the 2015 massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston.
Dylann Roof said he wasn’t sure “what good it would do” to ask jurors for life in prison instead of execution, showing no remorse for killing nine black church members during a Bible study.
“I still feel like I had to do it,” Roof said. Holding on to his racist beliefs, he said: “Anyone who hates anything in their mind has a good reason for it.”
‘In my confession to the FBI, I told them that I had to do it,’ Roof said during his short closing argument on Tuesday. ‘I felt like I had to do it when I said that and I still feel that way.’
Jurors began deliberating the penalty phase of the trial just after 1.30pm ET and came back with a decision shortly after 4.30pm ET.
Roof is the first person to be sentenced to death for a federal hate crime.