A jury has sentenced Dylann Storm Roof to die for the murder of nine black parishioners at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C.
Roof was found guilty in December of 33 counts of federal hate crimes. He is still facing state charges, and prosecutors in that case have said they will also be seeking the death penalty.
The jury, after hearing days of testimony from victims’ families, delivered the verdict after about three hours of deliberations.
Roof represented himself in the sentencing proceedings, and presented no evidence and called no witnesses. He seemed to resist his lawyers’ recommendations to use psychological incapacity as a defense. The 22-year-old white male admitted to his crimes in a video recording shortly after he was arrested. In the video, Roof admitted his racist motivations.
“I had to do it because somebody had to,” he said in the confession. “Blacks are raping and killing white people on the streets every day.”
According to the Associated Press, Roof is the first person to receive the death penalty on federal hate crime charges.