This morning, at the sentencing phase of his trial- Dylann Roof stood in defiance in front of the jurors giving no explanation or apology for his actions in killing nine Black parishioners of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. Excerpts of Roof’s journal were read aloud to build the government’s case for the death penalty by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathan S. Williams, what it revealed was that Roof was a man of full mental capacity- unmoved by the racial divide he had widened in his city (in the shooting’s aftermath riots ensued for days), as well as very clear that his crime was not only premeditated, but motivated by racism.
“There’s nothing wrong with me psychologically,” told the jury during his brief opening statement.
Additionally, the jury heard excerpts from Roof’s journal, in which he wrote, “I would like to make it crystal clear I do not regret what I did. I am not sorry. I have not shed a tear for the innocent people I killed.”
“I do feel sorry for the innocent white children forced to live in this sick country and I do feel sorry for the innocent white people that are killed daily at the hands of the lower race. I have shed a tear of self-pity for myself. I feel pity that I had to do what I did in the first place. I feel pity that I had to give up my life because of a situation that should never have existed,” Roof continued.
Roof’s surprisingly short opening statement was the first time he had addressed the jurors directly in the trial. Rather than try to deny his actions, he said, “The point is that I’m not going to lie to you, not by myself or through somebody else.”
Now what remains is for the jury to decide Roof’s fate. The prosecution plans to call upon 40 people to make impact statements about how their lives were torn apart by Roof’s hate crime. The prosecution is seeking the death penalty, and Roof has not shared his sentiments on whether he wishes to live or die. All he has expressed is that he has zero remorse for his actions. What do you believe is just consequence for his crimes? Are you for the death sentence or is it something that should be abolished? We welcome your thoughts in our comment section below.
(Article By Tasha Sharifa)