The New York Times reports that Dylann S. Roof, the white supremacist who killed nine African-American churchgoers in a racial assault almost 19 months ago, has been sentenced to death by a federal jury.
The jury (9 white, 3 black), who last month found Roof guilty of 33 counts for the attack at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, S.C., returned with their unanimous verdict after about three hours of deliberations.
The guilt of Roof, who coolly confessed to the killings and then justified them without remorse in a jailhouse manifesto, was never in serious doubt during the first phase of the proceedings in Federal District Court in December. By the time the jurors began their deliberations on his sentence, it seemed inevitable that they would lean toward death, not only because of the heinous nature of the crimes but because Roof, 22, insisted on denying any psychological incapacity, called no witnesses, presented no evidence in his defense and mostly sidelined his court-appointed lawyers.
Roof, who showed no emotion as the verdict was read, could be formally sentenced as soon as Wednesday.