Dylann Roof should be put to death, a federal jury decided Tuesday in the sentencing phase of his trial in the shooting massacre at Emanuel AME in Charleston, South Carolina, reports CNN.
Roof, an avowed White supremacist, shot and killed nine people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in June 2015. A jury of 10 women and two men decided Roof’s fate, recommending the death penalty for eighteen counts against him. Judge Richard Gergel will formally sentence Roof on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. ET, writes the news outlet:
The prosecution and defense rested in the penalty phase on Monday, bringing to a close days of heartbreaking testimony from family and friends of victims who were killed.
Prosecutors argue that he’s a calculating killer who deserves the death penalty because of his motive, his lack of remorse and the shooting’s impact on the victims’ families.
In his closing argument Tuesday morning, Assistant US Attorney Jay Richardson described the lives of all nine victims, cited Roof’s “racist hatred” and reminded the jurors of the testimony and evidence that convicted him:
The jury’s verdict came after a prosecutor highlighted the “god-fearing” spirit of the nine church members killed in the heinous slaying, reports WABC-TV.
Here’s Roof’s response to the sentence in his closing argument:
“In my confession to the FBI I told them that I had to do it, and obviously that’s not really true. … I didn’t have to do anything … But what I meant when I said that was, I felt like I had to do it, and I still do feel like I had to do it … From what I’ve been told, I have a right to ask you to give me a life sentence, but I’m not sure what good that will do anyway … But what I will say is only one of you has to disagree with the other jurors.”
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20 Pictures That Show The Powerful Resilience Of Charleston's Mother Emanuel AME Church
20 photos Launch gallery
1. Mother Emanuel AME Church held its first service since the shooting death of nine African-American church members on June 17.
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2. People line up to enter for Sunday service at the Emanuel AME Church.
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3. Two children wait to enter the Emanuel AME Church June 21, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina.
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4. A member of the church is seen outside of Emanuel AME before its first service since the Charleston shooting.
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5. A Charleston County sheriff's deputy checks bags as people line up to enter for Sunday service at the Emanuel AME Church.
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6. Gloria Moore watches the church as parishioners take their seats at the Emanuel AME Church.
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7. A woman prays as she attends the Sunday service outside of the Emanuel AME Church.
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8. People pray and listen to the Sunday service outside of the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
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9. Parishioners sit at Emanuel AME Church four days after a mass shooting that claimed the lives of its pastor and eight others.
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10. The Rev. Norvel Goff, right, prays at the empty seat of the Rev. Clementa Pinckney.
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11. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, R-S.C., embraces U.S. Sen Tim Scott, R-S.C., at Emanuel AME Church.
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12. A parishioner prays at the empty seat of the Rev. Clementa Pinckney at the Emanuel AME Church.
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13. The congregation departs following Sunday services at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
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14. A family is seen leaving Emanuel AME Church following Sunday services.
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15. People embrace as they depart the Emanuel AME Church following Sunday services.
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16. Church members comfort one another after Emanuel's first service since the Charleston shooting.
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17. Church members comfort one another outside of Emanuel.
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18. A mother and son surround a memorial for the nine church members killed during the Charleston shooting.
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19. Charleston natives comfort each other during the church's first service since the shooting on June 17.
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20. Activist DeRay McKesson is seen outside of Emanuel AME church.
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SOURCE: CNN, WABC-TV