A federal jury sentenced Dylan Roof to death on Tuesday for the murder of nine church goers in a Charleston church in 2015. During a two-hour closing, the federal prosecutor argued that Dylan Roof deserves to die for killing to start a race war and had showed no remorse. The jury spent approximately three hours to reach the unanimous recommendation of the death penalty for Roof after finding him guilty of 33 federal charges in December of last year. Roof had no comment after the jury’s decision was read.
The jury’s determination completes the sentencing portion of the trial which began on January 3rd. The proceedings started with a psychological examination of the defendant Roof to determine his competency to represent himself during the sentencing portion of the trial. Prior to sentencing the Defendant was reexamined and a hearing was held to determine if Roof was competent to represent himself. After the evidentiary hearing, the judge stated that Roof’s decision to act as his own attorney was a bad decision but that he was competent to do so.
Roof choose not to present any witnesses or evidence in his defense and rarely objected to the prosecution’s witnesses’ testimony. He gave a brief opening statement, where he informed jurors that there was nothing wrong with him psychologically. During his five-minute closing Roof told jurors he felt that he had to commit the crime. He reminded jurors that they had each agreed to stand up for their opinions and that it would take a unanimous decision for the death penalty.
After the verdict was announced. Roof’s defense team release a statement indicating that appeals would be made on his behalf. Roof is facing a separate trial in the state court of South Carolina. There Roof will also be tried for murder with prosecutors seeking the death penalty.