Dylann Roof Guilty: Charleston Shooter Convicted Of Murdering Nine People

A South Carolina jury has just come back with a verdict in the Charleston church massacre, and they have found Dylann Roof guilty of murdering nine black people, in cold blood, as they worshiped in church.

According to NBC News, self-proclaimed white supremacist Dylann Roof is guilty of several crimes, including 24 crimes that fall under the federal hate crimes statute. In addition, 18 of those 24 crimes carry the death penalty.

The jury that convicted him must now decide if he spends the rest of his life in prison or if he will be executed for the crimes he committed.

Aside from the federal crimes Roof was convicted of, he is facing additional state crimes in South Carolina for his actions. These charges are also death penalty-level crimes, meaning that if Dylann Roof is found guilty on a state level, he could face additional death penalty punishments for his actions.

NPR reported that Dylann Roof’s guilty verdict was not hard for the jurors to come to. However, at this point, the jury has to decide if Roof will live or die when the jury reconvenes on January 3, 2017.

The details of the case, of course, will forever go down in infamy. On the evening of June 17, 2015, Roof entered Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church, where he sat with people in Bible study for over an hour. Then, during the final prayer, he opened fire on the congregation.

While many people were mortally wounded by Roof, one survivor, Polly Sheppard, told the court that Roof told her that she would be left alive because “I’m going to leave you here to tell the story.”

Roof, who was arrested the day after the massacre, then told the FBI in a two-hour taped interview that everyone knew he was guilty, but he felt that he had to commit the crime because “no one else was brave enough” to do so. Partly inspired by George Zimmerman’s brutal murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, Roof also said that he was inspired to commit the massacre after he Googled the search phrase “black on white crime.” Finally, he told the FBI that he believed that white people were “second-class citizens” and that he hoped that his actions would “incite a race war.”

Right before the jury found Dylann Roof guilty, the Post and Courier reported that Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathan Williams told them that Roof, who used a .45-caliber Glock pistol to kill his unsuspecting victims, brought hatred into a place of peace and worship.

“In that moment, a man of immense hatred walked that room shooting person after person after person, stopping only so he could reload more magazines and kill more people. It was an act of tremendous cowardice, shooting people as they have their eyes closed in prayer, shooting them on the ground and as they cowered under tables.”

Williams further went on to say that Roof shot people at their most defenseless — while their eyes were shut closed in prayer — and that he spent months stockpiling ammunition and preparing for their deaths. Williams went on to show the jury pictures of the dead sprawled around the church, blood spurting from their bodies, and the survivors crying around the dead bodies of their friends and relatives. He did this, Williams concluded, because he viewed the church-goers as less than human due to his racist nature.

What do you think of the Dylann Roof guilty verdict?

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[Featured Image by Centralized Bond Hearing Court/AP Images]

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