On Tuesday, twelve jurors held the life of Dylan Roof, 22, in their hands. In 2015, Roof killed 9 African-Americans in a historically black church in South Carolina, known as the Charleston Church Massacre. Roof served as his own attorney, stating earlier that he did not have any psychological issues and didn’t want defense presenting psychological issues.
Roof, a white supremacist, was convicted of 33 counts of federal hate crimes related to the shooting at Emmanuel A.M.E. Church last month. Today, those twelve jurors have sentenced him with the death penalty.
In Roof’s closing statement, he stated,
“I felt like I had to do it, and I still feel like I had to do it.”
He also mentioned that he had the right to ask the jury to spare his life, but “I’m not sure what good that’ll do.”
His closing statement was followed by a two-hour closing argument by prosecutor Jay Richardson, who went over the facts of the case–all of which was uncontested by Roof. Roof, a radical racist, admitted to the FBI that the attack had been planned for months. Richardson displayed the gruesome photos of each victim lying in their blood, along with photos of them smiling, to which Roof showed no emotion. He then urged the ury to speak the truth and to hold Roof accountable for his actions, and sentence him to death–in which they did.
Justice has been served.