Well, that didn’t take long, in the end:
Breaking: Dylann Roof, avowed white supremacist, sentenced to death for Charleston church massacre https://t.co/CSvm5CogAJ
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) January 10, 2017
So after all the buildup to the trial, and the lengthy trial itself, the jury made short work of the matter. It took less than three hours for them to decide.
We’ve known he did it since the day after the massacre itself. Now we’re done with the formalities, except for one.
What to say? Well, I don’t believe in the death penalty, but if you’re going to have one, this is what it’s for.
If I have any further objection, it is this: I wish he was receiving this sentence purely for the nine horrific murders he committed rather than for “hate crimes.” It worries me to see the United States of America put someone to death for his attitudes, however abominable they are. It almost belittles the enormity of what he did, by shifting part of our emphasis from the killing of innocents to punishing political views. (This is one of my few areas of agreement with libertarians.)
But when his execution comes, I guess it’s sort of moot what we call the crime. Once he’s dead, that’s it. He won’t do that any more.
This was a weird day in the courtroom, with Roof’s bizarre address to the jury that dramatically demonstrated why it’s a terrible idea to represent yourself. After supposedly taking over his defense because he didn’t want evidence introduced that point to insanity, he said, “Um, I think it’s safe to say that no one in their right mind wants to go into a church and kill people.”
His soliloquy included other weirdness, such as:
“Wouldn’t it be fair to say that the prosecution hates me?” Roof said, noting that prosecutors were seeking the death penalty.
Roof told the jury they might think, ” ‘Of course they hate you; everyone hates you. They have good reason to hate you.’ I don’t deny it.”…
We’ll never really known what made this guy tick. And perhaps that’s a blessing…