Charleston Shooter Dylann Roof Sentenced To Death; Says "He Had To Do It"; Family Of Victims Welcome Jury Decision

By Marguerite Chang - 10 Jan '17 21:37PM
  • Dylann Roof Sentenced to death
  • (Photo : Randall Hill - Pool/Getty Images) CHARLESTON, SC - JULY 16: Dylann Roof (R), 21, is helped to his chair by chief public defender Ashley Pennington (L) during a hearing at the Judicial Center July 16, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina. Roof is charged with murdering nine worshippers at a historic black church in Charleston last month.

Dylann Roof is sentenced to death. Back in 2015, the massacre in Charleston, South Carolina rocked the world when what was perceived as a hate crime took lives of nine people. Roof is the first defendant of a hate crime case who is sentenced to death.

The sentencing was a somber time when the jury decided on the verdict the room was quite. Tears were shed as justice was served. Melvin Graham, a brother of Cynthia Hurd who was one of those who perished, was interviewed and said that the victory was "hollow" as they lost his sister nonetheless and the death penalty meted to Roof will not bring her back.

As the jury talked and deliberated for three hours, Roof was quoted as saying that he feels that "he had to do it" and that he still feels that he needed to do it. In a presented evidence, Roof has written in his journal how he did not regret shooting and killing the people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church back in June of 2015.

 Observers say that Roof is unrepentant as he was being read of the jury's decision. In his closing statement, he has asked the jury to instead give him a life sentence with no possibility of parole. The jury thought otherwise and decided on the death penalty instead.

The members of the jury were composed of three blacks and nine white jurors and they found Roof guilty of 33 counts of attack. Their unanimous decision was welcomed by the family and friends of those who perished in Charleston.

Roof, an admitted white supremacist, was emotionless when he was being read his sentence. His family issued a statement saying that they will "struggle as long as we live to understand why he committed this horrible attack, which caused so much pain to so many good people."

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