Today reveals the decision made in the sentencing of Dylann Roof, who murdered nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church located in Charleston, South Carolina during a Bible study. He is a self-described “white nationalist” and targeted the Charleston church specifically because of its history within the black community. Throughout the trials, he has confessed and emphasized that his killings were motivated by race.
Today, Roof was given the death penalty for his atrocious actions.
This was the phase two of the trial for the Charleston church shooting that took place in July 2015. The first phase in December determined whether or not Roof was guilty; he was found guilty on 33 out of 33 charges he was facing, based on photo, video and witness evidence. This second phase was to decide on a sentence, in which the death penalty was an option.
These trials have been incredibly emotional. One of the three survivors of the shooting, Felicia Sanders, told the court about the horrors from her perspective during the first phase of the trial. She described:
“The defendant over there, with his head hanging down, refusing to look at me right now, said, ‘I have to do this because y’all are raping our women and taking over the world.’
That’s when he put about five bullets in my son.”
During his closing statement during the second trial, Roof said some disturbing things:
Roof admits that:
“You may remember in my confession I said I had to do it. I guess that’s not really true: I didn’t have to do it; no one made me do it. What I meant when I said that was I felt like I had to do it, and I still feel like I had to do it.”
However, he tries to turn things around on the jury by claiming they hate him for giving him the death penalty and that they, rather than himself, been “misled” by their supposed hate.
Roof then goes on to say in a seemingly threatening way:
Anyone including the prosecution who thinks I’m full of hatred has no idea what true hate is…they don’t know what real hatred looks like. They think they do but they don’t really.
Well, if murdering nine people because of the color of their skin isn’t true hatred, we shudder to think what Roof would have done with his definition of “true hate.”
Apparently, the jury seemed to agree and decided to sentence Roof with the death penalty. A formal sentence hearing will take place on Wednesday, January 11th.
The nine victims of the shooting were Reverend Clementa Pinckney, 41; Tywanza Sanders, 26; Cynthia Hurd, 54; Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, 45; Susie Jackson, 87; Ethel Lance, 70; Reverend DePayne Middleton Doctor, 49; Reverend Daniel Simmons Sr., 74 and Myra Thompson, 59. Hopefully their family and friends will find some peace in this sentence after losing their loved ones in such a horrible manner.
[H/T: Elite Daily]