Dylann Roof Sentenced To Death For South Carolina Church Massacre

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Update: Dylann Roof was sentenced to death Tuesday for killing nine Black church members during Bible study in a racially motivated attack. He's the first person to face execution for a federal hate crime conviction. A jury deliberated his sentence for about three hours, capping a trial in which Roof did not fight for his life or show any remorse. At the beginning of the trial, he addressed jurors directly, insisting that he wasn't mentally ill, but he never asked them for forgiveness or mercy, or explained the crime. He threw away one last chance to plead for his life on Tuesday, telling jurors: "I still feel like I had to do it."
This story was originally published on December 15, 2016.
A federal jury has convicted Dylann Roof in the racially-motivated slayings of nine black church members in South Carolina. The jury reached its verdict after less than two hours of deliberations. They convicted the 22-year-old white man of hate crimes and other charges. Jurors heard from witnesses who testified Roof made multiple trips to Charleston in the months before the June 2015 attack at Emanuel AME Church. They also heard from two survivors. Roof's attorneys called no witnesses. Prosecutors said in their closing arguments Roof was filled with hate and has already confessed to the FBI to his role in the shootings. Defense attorneys portrayed Roof as a suicidal loner who never fully grasped the severity of what he has done. The jury will reconvene next month to decide whether he should get the death penalty or be sentenced to life in prison. Roof just stared ahead as the verdict was read, much as he has throughout the trial.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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