Dylann Roof was found guilty of all charges and convicted on 33 counts, including nine of a hate crime act resulting in death.


Last year, Roof entered a bible study in Charleston, South Carolina, and shot dead nine parishioners. His conviction came after just two hours of jury deliberation. Roof had previously confessed to the murders, no less in a creepy video in which he laughed after his admission, so the verdict did not come as a surprise.

Instead, the trial moved on to what his punishment will be, if he will be given the death penalty or sentenced to life in prison. The courtroom heard statements from witnesses and family members of the nine killed. The defense brought no witnesses to the stand.

“Yes, I want him to see the death penalty,” said Esther Lance, whose 70-year-old mother was murdered in the massacre. But on second thought, she changed her mind. “My mom wouldn’t have wanted that,” she concluded.

Roof’s motives were entirely racial, as the self-proclaimed white supremacist declared he was trying to start a race war. In a 2,000-word racist note he penned, he said he “chose Charleston because it is most historic in my state, and at one time had the highest ratio of blacks to Whites in the country.”

“When Roof searched ‘black on white crime,’ he found a flood of white supremacist propaganda,” said Southern Poverty Law Center President Richard Cohen. “Once hard to access, that propaganda is now just a few keystrokes away from anyone, anywhere, who has access to the internet.” This is why, he says, Roof “represents the modern face of domestic terrorism: the extremist who acts alone after being radicalized online.”

Roof’s sentencing trials will begin in January.

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