BREAKING: Jury Sentences Dylan Roof to DEATH For SC Church Shooting

dylan roof death

An admit­ted white suprema­cist was sentenced to death Tuesday for massacring nine black worshipers who’d invit­ed him to study the Bible with them at a Charleston, S.C., church, ending a two-phase feder­al trial that exposed the killer’s hate-fueled motives and plumbed the chasms of grief left by the victims’ deaths.

The jury, the same that convict­ed Dylann Roof in the murders last month, announced its verdict after delib­er­at­ing less than three hours.

Roof, 22, who repre­sent­ed himself in the penal­ty phase, did very little to persuade the panel to spare his life. He declined to present any witness­es or evidence, blocked stand­by defense lawyers’ attempts to raise questions about his mental health, and suggest­ed in his closing state­ment that arguing for life in prison wasn’t worth the effort.

Roof now becomes the 63rd person on feder­al death row, and the first to be put there since Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was convict­ed in 2015.

Never­the­less, it will likely be years before he is put to death; the feder­al govern­ment has put execu­tions on hold out of concerns about lethal injec­tion drugs, and appeals could put off the date even further. The last feder­al execu­tion took place in 2003.

And Roof still faces a second trial, by the state of South Caroli­na, where he also faces the death penal­ty. The date of that trial has not been deter­mined.

From the start of the trial, Roof’s guilt was hardly in doubt.

It took the 12-person jury a little over two hours to convict Roof last month on all 33 counts, includ­ing two dozen that fall under feder­al hate crime statutes.

During that phase of the trial, defense lawyer David Bruck put no witness­es on the stand and raised no objec­tions when prose­cu­tors played Roof’s video­taped confes­sion to the FBI, which was made follow­ing his arrest. In it, Roof admit­ted he was guilty and that the motive was to spark a race war. He told the FBI men he was surprised he was able to kill as many people as he did with his .45-caliber Glock pistol.

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