Dylann Roof, the unrepentant white supremacist who massacred killing nine black parishioners at Charleston South Carolina’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, was sentenced to death by a jury on Tuesday. The decision was unanimous.
After being found guilty of the murders in December, Roof chose to represent himself to the jurors tasked with deciding his fate. Insisting that “there’s nothing wrong with me psychologically,” he asked the court to disregard his lawyer’s earlier attempts to portray him as mentally unstable.
During Roof’s closing remarks, he was unapologetic about his crimes, telling the court “I felt like I had to do it, and I still feel like I had to do it.” Roof also appeared non-committal about his pending sentence, saying, “I have the right to ask you to give me a life sentence. I don’t know what good that will do anyway.”
Upon learning of the verdict, Roof’s family issued a brief statement.
Roof will return to court tomorrow. He reportedly asked for new, court-ordered legal representation during this process. Roof may be planning to appeal his sentence, which is allowed in federal death penalty cases. If he does, it is unclear how long that process might last.
Roof is the first person to be given a federal death penalty since Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was sentenced last year for his role in the Boston Marathon bombings.