A US federal jury has sentenced Dylann Roof to death over the murders of nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina.
Jurors took just three hours to pronounce the sentence yesterday, after last month finding Roof guilty of all 33 charges relating to the massacre at the African Methodist Episcopal Church in June 2015.
He is “the first person to face execution for a federal hate crime conviction”, reports The Guardian.
Roof, who had dismissed his legal team, delivered a “halting and cryptic closing argument”, the Washington Post reports, but “not once during his very brief remarks did [he] say he regretted his actions”.
Instead, he told jurors: “The prosecution and anyone else who hates me are the ones that have been misled.”
He added: “I think it’s safe to say that no one in their right mind wants to go into a church and kill people. I still feel like I had to do it.”
Several relatives of Roof’s victims welcomed the death sentence.