Dylann Roof, the self admitted white supremacist who shot and killed nine people in an all Black, Charleston, South Carolina church, was sentenced to death today for every count of murder in that tragic event in June 2015.
The 22 year old Roof stared straight ahead, or looked down as the verdicts were read by the jury, who deliberated for less that three hours before deciding on the death penalty. U.S. District Court Judge Richard Gergel scheduled formal sentencing for Wednesday morning. Roof then asked for a lawyer to help file a motion for a new trial, which Gergel said he’d consider before the sentencing, but added that the request didn’t seem justified.
Last month, it took the same 12-person jury less than two hours to find Roof guilty. Roof admitted he was guilty and that the motive was to spark a race war. He told the FBI men he was surprised he was able to kill as many people as he did with his .45-caliber Glock pistol.
Roof now becomes the 63rd person on federal death row, and the first to be put there since Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was convicted in 2015.
It will likely be years before he is put to death, since the federal government has put executions on hold out of concerns about lethal injection drugs. Also, appeals could put off the date even further. The last federal execution took place in 2003.