Dylann Roof Will Face Federal Death Penalty in Charleston Church Killings

Started by turboprinz, May 25, 2016, 08:09:28 PM

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Dylann S. Roof, who is accused of killing nine people during a racially motivated assault in June 2015 at a Charleston, South Carolina, church, will face two death penalty trials after the Justice Department said Tuesday that it would seek his execution.

"Following the department's rigorous review process to thoroughly consider all relevant factual and legal issues, I have determined that the Justice Department will seek the death penalty," Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement about the case against Roof, who was arrested less than a day after the shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, a historic and predominantly black congregation.

"The nature of the alleged crime and the resulting harm," Lynch continued, "compelled this decision."

In a separate seven-page filing in U.S. District Court in Charleston, prosecutors cited nine aggravating factors, including that Roof had "expressed hatred and contempt towards African-Americans, as well as other groups, and his animosity towards African-Americans played a role in the murders charged in the indictment."

The prosecutors also wrote that Roof had "demonstrated a lack of remorse" and that he had "targeted men and women participating in a Bible study group at the church in order to magnify the societal impact" of the attack.

Two defense lawyers, David I. Bruck and Michael O'Connell, declined to comment on Tuesday.

Last year, a federal grand jury returned a 33-count indictment against Roof, who was accused of hate crimes, weapons charges and obstructing the practice of religion.

He is also facing murder charges in a state court, and the local prosecutor, Scarlett A. Wilson, said in September that she would seek the death penalty.

Whether Roof, 22, should be executed has been a matter of some debate in South Carolina, where some family members of the victims publicly forgave the suspected gunman just two days after the shooting.

Although Gov. Nikki R. Haley has called for Roof to be put to death, others said they wanted to avoid the pain of a trial and the potential for protracted appeals.

Bruck said last summer that Roof was willing to enter a guilty plea in exchange for a sentence of life in prison. But until Tuesday, 15 days before lawyers were scheduled to discuss the case in open court, it was not clear how the Justice Department would proceed.

A date for Roof's federal trial has not been set. His state court trial is expected to begin in January.

I apologize for my not perfect English. Hopefully you understand what I mean. If not - ask me. I will try to explain.


January 10, 2017, 10:54:43 PM Last Edit: January 10, 2017, 10:57:10 PM by phlebbb
Charleston church shooter to face death sentence
By Jonathan Serrie  Published January 10, 2017  FoxNews.com
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Dylann Roof tells jury 'there is nothing wrong with me'
The same jury that convicted Dylann Roof in the 2015 massacre at Emanuel AME church has reached a unanimous verdict on his sentence: death. Roof looked down silently as the panel announced its decision in U.S. District Court in Charleston, S.C. late this afternoon.

After the jury left the courtroom, Roof asked Judge Richard Gergel for new lawyers. Gergel told Roof he could make that argument at his formal sentencing hearing tomorrow morning.

Insisting on representing himself in the sentencing phase of his trial, Roof's court-appointed defense team, which included reknowned lawyer and capital punishment opponent David Bruck, was largely sidelined.

Earlier in the day, Roof delivered his own closing argument, in which the white supremacist denied that he was filled with hatred.

"Wouldn't it be fair to say that the prosecution hates me because they're trying to give me the death penalty?" Roof asked rhetorically. "Anyone who hates anything, in their mind has a good reason for it. And sometimes that's because they've been misled and sometimes it isn't. But I would say that in this case the prosecution, along with anyone else who hates me, are the ones who have been misled."


Roof concluded his closing argument after only five minutes.

"That's all," he said.

The brevity of Roof's statement stood in stark contrast to the prosecution's closing argument, which lasted for two hours.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Richardson reminded jurors how the nine victims at "Mother Emanuel" Church had welcomed Roof, a stranger who had shown up at their Wednesday evening Bible study.


"The defendant had come not to learn, not to receive the Word, but he came with a hateful heart and a Glock 45," Richardson said.

Richardson mentioned all of the victims by name, describing their importance to the community and their families, and the terrible loss caused by their untimely deaths. He contrasted these "particularly good people" with the horrific nature of Roof's crimes, his racist views and "his belief in Hitler as a saint, as an icon, as someone to be emulated."

The prosecution showed the jury photos of Roof with his now familiar blank stare, pointing a pistol at the camera during target practice.

"He also chose to videotape himself doing it so that he could see the very last images that these victims would see," Richardson said. "He wanted to see what he would look like as he stood over them."

Inside the courtroom, Roof looked straight forward, displaying no obvious emotion as the prosecution showed the jury graphic photos of the deceased victims' bodies lying on the bloodstained floor of their church meeting room.

Richardson then went on to cite Roof's apparent lack of remorse for the crimes.

He quoted from a journal removed from the defendant's jail cell back in August of 2015 in which Roof writes, "I do not regret what I did. I am not sorry. I have not shed a tear for the innocent people I killed."

The prosecutor reminded jurors that even during this trial, Roof had entered the courtroom wearing hand drawn racist symbols on his shoes.

"Unrepentant, no remorse," Richardson added.

At the conclusion of his closing argument, Richardson urged jurors, "Sentence this defendant to death for killing Clementa Pinckney."

He repeated the phrase eight more times to add the names of each victim.

The same panel of three black jurors and nine whites that convicted Roof back in December once again sided with the prosecution, unanimously calling for the ultimate punishment.
People that think they know it all, annoy the hell out us who actually do ...

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