Dylann Roof, the 22-year-old man convicted of killing nine black parishioners of a renowned Charleston, S.C. African Methodist Episcopal church, has been sentenced to death, Jonathan Serrie reported.
The jury was given the choice to unanimously recommend the death penalty or default to having Roof serve a lifetime behind bars.
In his closing argument on Tuesday, Roof denied that he was filled with hatred.
“Wouldn’t it be fair to say that the prosecution hates me because they’re trying to give me the death penalty?” Roof asked rhetorically. “Anyone who hates anything, in their mind has a good reason for it. And sometimes that’s because they’ve been misled and sometimes it isn’t. But I would say that in this case the prosecution, along with anyone else who hates me, are the ones who have been misled.”
Acting as his own attorney, Roof concluded his closing argument after only five minutes.
“That’s all,” he said.
The brevity of Roof’s statement stood in stark contrast to the prosecution’s closing argument, which lasted for two hours.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Richardson reminded jurors how the nine victims of the 2015 massacre at Emanuel AME Church had welcomed Roof, a stranger who had shown up at their Wednesday evening Bible study.
Gregg Jarrett said Roof "pinned the nail in his own coffin" in his "stilted" five-minute argument where he offered no remorse nor mitigating factors that may have spared his life.
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