Dylann Roof, the 22-year-old white supremacist who was convicted of shooting and killing nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015, has been sentenced to death. According to New York Times reporter Alan Blinder, who covered the trial for the paper, Roof “showed no emotion as Judge Richard M. Gergel read the jury’s verdict” aloud in court on Tuesday. The twelve jurors, who deliberated the defendant’s fate for three hours following closing arguments made the same day, also revealed “no expression” as the judge announced their unanimous verdict.
Aside from laughing during his videotaped confession with investigators and expressing no remorse, explanation or apology during his own opening remarks in the sentencing phase, Roof offered the nine white and three black jurors an odd closing statement. “In my confession to the FBI I told them that I had to do it, and obviously that’s not really true,” he said. “I didn’t have to do anything.”
As CNN noted at the time, however, Roof’s final words to the two men and 10 women who’d eventually condemn him to death seemingly “suggested he’d like to be spared”:
“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,” Roof said. “But what I will say is only one of you has to disagree with the other jurors.”
A formal sentencing hearing has been set for Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. local time.