Charleston, NC – After nearly three hours of deliberation, a jury made the decision to sentence convicted Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof to death row.
He is the first person sentenced to death for a hate crime. The 22-year-old faced either life in prison or execution for gunning down nine unsuspecting churchgoers during bible study on June 17, 2015 at the historic black church in downtown Charleston, Emanuel AME Church.
It “sends a strong message” about the way hate crimes are handled, Malcolm Graham, brother to one of the lives lost at the hands of Roof, told The Associated Press. “No room in a civilized society for hatred, racism and discrimination,” he adds.
In December, Roof, who represented himself during the trial, was convicted of all 33 federal charges against him. During sentencing he told jurors he didn’t have a mental illness nor did he offer any remorse.
His family offered a brief statement upon sentencing. “We will always love Dylann,” they said. “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.”
Full statement from Roof lawyers and family. pic.twitter.com/l0ZEKNzQe4
— Maurice Chammah (@MauriceChammah) January 10, 2017
Dylann confessed to the jury, declining to plead for his life, “I felt like I had to do it. I still feel like I have to do it.”
Needless to say, the internet is celebrating this decision. Even those apparently against the death penalty.
me: im against the death penalty
court: dylann roof has been sentenced to death
— Common White Girl (@girlhoodposts) January 10, 2017
me getting lit at the Dylann Roof "Going Away" party pic.twitter.com/tRCDQo45D4
— Black Jesus (@BullHunitProof) January 10, 2017
me: idk if I agree with the death penalty or not
judge: dylann roof has been sentenced to death
— 👅SORRY NOT SORRY👅 (@SORRYNOTSOORRY) January 10, 2017
Dylann Roof is the first person sentenced to death for a federal hate crime. Obama leaving office like: pic.twitter.com/xTha8crMPX
— eemi (@eemanabbasi) January 10, 2017
Damn, Dylann Roof got the death penalty pic.twitter.com/gp1VxO39Ov
— LEGEND (@ChriStylezz) January 10, 2017
Dylann Roof sentenced to death.
Rot in hell. Forever.
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) January 10, 2017
the day dylann roof dies will be a national holiday
— alina (@glossyfilm) January 11, 2017
When you're against the death penalty but can't muster the energy to argue why Dylann Roof shouldn't be executed. pic.twitter.com/XLVwuw7mdL
— Chinua AcheBae (@SorahyaM) January 10, 2017