Roof formal sentencing hearing to begin Wednesday

A federal jury has sentenced Dylann Roof to death for killing nine black church members at a Charleston, South Carolina, church in 2015.

Roof's defense said in a statement that the "sentencing decision means that this case will not be over for a very long time".

As during the guilt phase of his trial, Roof put up no witnesses and also opted not to testify himself.

The jury deliberated for three hours before reaching their decision.

The formal sentencing hearing will take place Wednesday morning.

Roof acted as his own attorney in the sentencing phase and told jurors that he did not have a mental illness. Roof showed multiple times that he didn't have remorse, according to Richardson, from his jailhouse manifesto with racist language to the shoes he wore in court during this trial that had racist symbols on them.

Convicted murderer Dylann Roof should repent of the massacre of nine people he killed at Mother Emanuel church, the victims' survivors said after a jury recommended the death penalty January 10. Roof was willing to plead guilty if the government would take the death penalty off the table, which Richardson said shows "that he wants to spend his life in prison, listening to the radio, and writing more racist filth", WCIV reported. He was convicted last month of all 33 federal charges against him. His two-hour confession to the Federal Bureau of Investigation seemed key to jurors' deliberation in the guilt phase.

Some relatives of the nine shooting victims attracted copious amounts of attention for showing Roof mercy during his initial court appearance after his arrest, saying they'd pray for him. "I didn't have to do it, and no one made me do it", Roof said, according to WCIV. Roof was convicted of killing nine black church members in a racially motivated attack on June 17, 2015.

Jurors will begin deliberations Tuesday afternoon.

Richardson says the way Roof mercilessly gunned down the black parishioners at Emanuel AME Church, coupled with his lack of remorse, mean he should receive the harshest sentence available. In the government's closing argument today, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Richardson laid out the government's argument for the death penalty.

"His response is to double down", said Richardson in response to Roof's closing argument.

Roof is representing himself.

Roof is representing himself and has the chance to give a closing of his own after prosecutors finish. During discussions in court about Roof's representation, his lawyers have said they feared their client wouldn't introduce evidence that could potentially spare his life out of concern it might embarrass himself or his family.

"We are Dylann Roof's family".

Myra Thompson, a 59-year-old wife and mother of two children, was among those Roof killed after they welcomed him to a June 17, 2015 Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (also known as Mother Emanuel AME) in Charleston, S.C. During the closing prayer, Roof began firing 77 rounds from a Glock.45 caliber handgun, reloading the 13-round chamber several times before leaving the church.

Gergel deemed Roof competent both to stand trial for sentencing and to represent himself, and jurors returned to court January 4.

Richardson called Roof "unrepentant" and said his closing argument highlighted how Roof's racism is not passionate or angry, but cold and calculated. For four days, prosecutors presented their case as to why they feel the 22-year-old Roof should be executed for his crimes.



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