A jury had deliberated whether Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof should be sentenced to life in prison or death has reached a verdict.
CHARLESTON, S.C. — Dylann S. Roof, the impenitent and inscrutable white supremacist who killed nine African-American churchgoers in a brazenly racial assault almost 19 months ago, shocking the world over the persistence of extremist hatred in dark corners of the American South, was condemned to death by a federal jury on Tuesday.
The jury of nine whites and three blacks, who last month found Mr. Roof guilty of 33 counts for the attack at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, S.C., returned their unanimous verdict after about three hours of deliberations in the penalty phase of a heart-rending and often legally confounding trial.
The guilt of Mr. Roof, who coolly confessed to the killings and then justified them without remorse in a jailhouse manifesto, was never in serious doubt during the first phase of the proceedings in Federal District Court in December. By the time the jurors began their deliberations on his sentence, it seemed inevitable that they would lean toward death, not only because of the heinous nature of the crimes but because Mr. Roof, 22, insisted on denying any psychological incapacity, called no witnesses, presented no evidence in his defense and mostly sidelined his court-appointed lawyers.
Mr. Roof, who showed no emotion as the verdict was read, will be formally sentenced on Wednesday.