Next, the jury will reassemble in January to decide if Roof will serve life in prison or sentenced to death.
White supremacist Dylann Roof, the 22-year-old young, white man who walked into the Emanuel AME Church in 2015 and killed nine black parishioners during Bible study, was found guilty of several charges today, according to CBS News.
CBS reports that the jury in his trial — nine white persons and three blacks — asked U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel permission to rehear Roof’s videotaped confession an hour into their deliberation. The request was granted.
Roof was facing 33 federal charges that range between hate crimes and obstruction of religion. He was found guilty on all counts.
In addition to reassessing the confession, the jury listened to the testimony of several witnesses, including two survivors who were present on that fateful day three years ago in June. These witnesses would testify that Roof made multiple trips to Charleston months before the nine worshipers were murdered.
While Roof’s defense attorney David Brock encouraged the jury to consider Roof’s mental state and reportedly painted an empathetic picture of him as a “suicidal, impressionable loner” who doesn’t understand the full weight of his actions, the prosecution countered by pointing to one singular motivation that underpinned Roof’s heinous crime: “immense racial ignorance.”
Today’s guilty verdict means that these nine jurors will reassemble at the start of the new year, Jan. 3, to decide if Roof will be given life in prison or sentenced to death.
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