19 months ago, Dylann Roof killed 9 African Americans in a church in Charleston, South Carolina. This Tuesday, a Federal Jury sentenced him to death. After a hearing lasting only three hours, the jury, composed of three African Americans and nine whites unanimously voted guilty. The verdict was unsurprising given the fact that Roof confessed to the killings while being held in jail, and also stated that he felt no sorrow for what he did.
Although Roof was officially sentenced to death, the process could take many years. Many appeals will undoubtedly be submitted that call for a stay, and may more psychiatric evaluations will be conducted to determine if Roof was mentally able to stand trial in court, and rather serve the rest of his life in prison. The appeal process coupled with the many laws that must be followed will almost certainly delay the execution of Roof.
Most of the families of the victims have publicly confessed their forgiveness of Roof’s actions. Many do not believe in the death penalty, even following the events that happened. Roof’s future still remains uncertain despite his recent sentencing, but the events of last week have provided at least some respite and peace of mind for the numerous people affected by the tragic event that transpired.