After convicting Dylann Roof in December on 33 charges, a jury has sentenced the racist and murderer of nine to death.
If executed this year, Roof would be the first executed in 2017. He may be the first to be executed in the state since 2011, according to data from the South Carolina Department of Corrections.
Testimony from the prosecution detailed Roof’s cold killing. In the 2015 murders, he came to the church with exactly 88 rounds in an allusion to H, the eighth letter of the alphabet. Combined, the two H’s spell HH, the abbreviation for “Heil Hitler.” He fired 75 of the 88 rounds into the nine victims.
In the penalty phase of his trial, Roof represented himself and showed no remorse for his crimes, saying that though he had the choice to not kill the nine black victims, he felt he did not have a choice. In earlier police interviews, he said he choice the historically black church in order to provoke a race war.
Roof’s final statement in the sentencing phase informed the court that he’d been told of the right to ask for a life sentence, but was “not sure what good that would do.”