Federal prosecutors will seek the death penalty for a white man accused of killing nine black parishioners at a historic church in Charleston, South Carolina, last June, the U.S. Justice Department said on Tuesday.
“The nature of the alleged crime and the resulting harm compelled this decision,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement.
Dylann Roof, 22, is accused of opening fire on June 17, 2015, during a Bible study session at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. The killings shook the country and intensified the debate about race in America.
He faces 33 federal charges, including hate crimes, obstruction of religion and firearms offenses. Authorities have accused him of holding white supremacist views, saying he targeted the victims because of their race.
His federal trial had been delayed while U.S. prosecutors decided whether to seek the death penalty. Defense attorneys have said he would plead guilty if he did not face the possibility of execution.
He also faces the state death penalty if convicted of the shooting.
Roof’s attorney, Michael O’Connell, declined to comment on the prosecution’s decision when reached by phone on Tuesday.
This is where I am supposed to say I feel bad for him, and that someone should show him mercy and give him a 2nd chance.
Well, you came to the wrong story.
Dylan Roof’s already spent too much time on Earth after what he did to those Americans in a South Carolina church.
Someone in the young man’s life knew he was unstable and could have stopped him. Where did he get the gun and the bullets? Those people need to be charged as well.
Thanks be to God the church had security cameras. Without the footage from security cameras, they may not have caught him. I don’t feel sorry that this young man may see the death penalty. The scurrying of people trying to get away, the screaming, and he shot them anyway. I don’t feel bad for what’s coming his way.
To be invited into a church and cowardly gun down unarmed fellow Americans while they pray has got to be the worst crime ever! My only regret is that torture is not allowed in this country!
As I previous stated, he should be executed. It was a terrible thing he did. People are no longer held responsible for their actions in this nation and that needs to end quickly. Everyone is worried about killers’ rights and making sure they are not violated.
May God comfort and help the families of the victims.
H/T – Reuters
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