CHARLESTON, S.C. (CBS/AP) — A federal jury sentenced Dylann Roof to death for killing nine people during bible study at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina.
Jurors sentenced 22-year-old Dylann Roof to death for gunning down nine black parishioners at Emanuel Ame Church in June 2015.
During closing arguments, Roof told jurors he felt like he had to do it and added quote – “I still feel like I had to do it”.
The 22-year-old also told jurors he had the right to ask them for life in prison, but added he is not sure “what good that would do anyway”. The same jury convicted roof last month of all 33 federal charges including hate crimes.
Roof represented himself during the sentencing phase of the trial to stop his lawyers from presenting the results of his mental health evaluations.
Friends and family members of the victims were split on whether they wanted Roof to get the death penalty or life in prison.
Prosecutors argued that roof deserved the harshest sentence possible and should be executed.
The jury reached a decision after about three hours of deliberations.
Roof was convicted last month of all 33 federal charges against him. During sentencing, he represented himself and told jurors he didn't have a mental illness. But he didn't offer any remorse or ask that his life be spared.
Roof told FBI agents he wanted to bring back segregation or perhaps start a race war with the slayings.
Roof still faces murder charges in state court.