Dylann Roof has been sentenced to death. He is the first person to be sentenced to execution for a federal hate crime.
Roof was convicted last month for the murders of nine black church members which took place during a bible study class. He was convicted last month for the murders and in total faced 33 federal charges. This included murder and hate crimes.
After deliberating for around three hours, the jury returned a verdict that he should be executed.
Roof’s defense team, in a statement said he expressed sympathy for “all of the families who were so grievously hurt by Dylann Roof’s actions. Today’s sentencing decision means that this case will not be over for a very long time. We are sorry that, despite our best efforts, the legal proceedings have shed so little light on the reasons for this tragedy.” According to reports Roof rejected using the statement during the sentencing part of the trial.
Roof’s family also put out a statement, which read, “We will always love Dylann. We 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. We wish to express the grief we feel for the victims of his crimes, and our sympathy to the many families he has hurt.
“We continue to pray for the Emanuel AME families and the Charleston community.”
Roof showed no emotion during sentencing.
Roof, 22, told the jury in his final argument that he had to do it. He said, “I still feel like I had to do it. Anyone who hates anything in their mind has a good reason for it.”
Assistant US attorney Jay Richardson, said, “They welcomed a 13th person that night … with a kind word, a Bible, a handout and a chair. He had come with a hateful heart and a Glock .45.”