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Dylann Roof Sentenced To Death For Massacre Of Black Church Members

Dylann Roof Sentenced To Death For Massacre Of Black Church Members

On Jan. 10 a federal jury sentenced Dylann Roof to death for the fatal shooting of nine African-American parishioners, reports CNN. As jurors stared him down, Roof said that if one juror voted against death, his life would be spared.

Roof told Federal Bureau of Investigation agents when they arrested him that he wanted the shootings to bring back segregation or perhaps start a race war.

"I don't believe in the death penalty, but I'm my mother's child and with everything that's happened sometimes I want him to die", Ms. Risher, who watched the entire trial, said in an interview on Monday. "I didn't have to do anything.But what I meant when I said that was, I felt like I had to do it, and I still do feel like I had to do it". The verdict was reached today after about three hours of deliberation.

This is a breaking news and developing story. If they are unable to agree, a life sentence is automatically imposed.

Roof, in a successful effort that blocked his defense team from submitting evidence that he might suffer from a mental illness, has represented himself in the sentencing phase.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Richardson told jurors on Tuesday that Roof's crimes more than meet the standards they'll consider for a possible death sentence.

Mr. Roof, who showed no emotion as the verdict was read, will be formally sentenced on Wednesday.

The 12 people Roof targeted opened the door for a stranger with a smile, he said.

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Survivor Felicia Sanders, who also gave powerful testimony during the guilt phase of Roof's trial, wrapped up prosecutors' case at sentencing, talking about her creative, 26-year-old son, the youngest victim, and his commitment to his faith and Emanuel. He was found guilty of 33 federal charges, from hate crimes to obstruction of the practice of religion, of which 17 carried the possibility of the death penalty.

"My opening statement is going to seem a little bit out of place", Roof told jurors.

They shed tears and their voices shook, but none of them said whether Roof should face the death penalty or life in prison for gunning down the church members.

The tragedy led to the flag being removed from the SC statehouse, where it had flown for 50 years.

Next, Roof challenged the prosecution's claim that he's filled with hatred, one of the statute-required aggravating factors in capital cases.

Richardson has said he'll likely take around two hours to close out the government's argument as to why Roof should be executed for his crimes in 2015.

Roof's family also issued a statement. The historic black church, affectionately called Mother Emanuel, was hosting a Bible study that evening.


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