'What Happened To You, Dylann?' Victim's Friend Asks Roof At Sentencing


'What Happened To You, Dylann?' Victim's Friend Asks Roof At Sentencing
  1. 'What Happened To You, Dylann?' Victim's Friend Asks Roof At Sentencing
    nprberlin.de
    A federal judge in South Carolina formally sentenced Dylann Roof to death on Wednesday, one day after all a jury recommended that he be executed for murdering nine people in a Charleston church. Under federal sentencing laws, the death penalty can be imposed only if all 12 jurors agree on it, and the judge cannot overrule the jury's decision. Roof is the first person to be sentenced to death in a federal trial that included hate crimes charges, according to the Death Penalty Information…
    Europe

A federal judge in South Carolina formally sentenced Dylann Roof to death on Wednesday, one day after all a jury recommended that he be executed for murdering nine people in a Charleston church.

Under federal sentencing laws, the death penalty can be imposed only if all 12 jurors agree on it, and the judge cannot overrule the jury's decision.

Roof is the first person to be sentenced to death in a federal trial that included hate crimes charges, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. Since 1988, three out of the 81 people sentenced to death have been executed by the federal government.

After he was sentenced, Roof asked for new attorneys, saying he did not trust his defense team, which includes multiple experienced capital punishment defense lawyers. During the guilt portion of the trial, Roof's lawyers actively defended him, but Roof chose to represent himself during the penalty phase, with his attorneys providing backup counsel.

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel denied the request, and gave Roof 14 days to file an appeal if he wishes.

On Tuesday, lead attorney David Bruck suggested in a statement that his team intends to appeal the sentence.

Before he read the sentence, Gergel opened the floor to dozens of family members and friends of those who died in June 2015. They addressed Roof directly, taking the stand and turning to face the 22-year-old, who kept his eyes down, according to reporters in the courtroom.

Many of them asked Roof to look at them. He did not.

All expressed anguish and frustration. Some described their hatred of Roof. Others voiced forgiveness.

"Dylann! Dylann! I know that you can hear me," said Jamie Scott, whose nephew Tywanza Sanders was killed. "I wish you would look at me, boy, but I know that you can hear me," she was quoted as saying by Charleston's Post and Courier.

" 'How dare you sit here every day looking dumb-faced, and acting like you did nothing wrong,' " the newspaper said Ashland Temoney yelled at Roof, who murdered Temoney's aunt, DePayne Middleton Doctor.

"You are the biggest coward I have ever seen in my life," Temoney told Roof.

Felicia Sanders lost both her son and heraunt, Susie Jackson, in the attack, but she herself survived. "I cannot shut my eyes to pray," she said Wednesday. "Even when I try, I cannot. I have to keep my eye on everyone that is around me."

"Yes, I forgive you," Sanders continued. "That was the easiest thing I had to do. ... But you can't help someone who doesn't want to help themselves.May God have mercy on your soul," the Post and Courier reported.

South Carolina Public Radio's Alexandra Olgin said that family members in the courtroom embraced after the jury recommended the sentence on Tuesday.

Olgin reported:

"Melvin Graham, the brother of victim Cynthia Graham Hurd, says there are too many senseless shootings in this country. 'I just want this to stop. I really do. I'm tired. Every time I hear about a shooting I cry. We have to stop this.'

"Graham says he supports the death sentence for his sister's killer.

"During the trial prosecutors repeatedly showed through Roof's writings how much he hated black people.

" 'If Dylann Roof was named Abdul, we'd call him a…

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