After only three hours of deliberation Tuesday, jurors unanimously sentenced convicted Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof to death.
The Washington Examiner reports that the white supremacist Roof, 22, represented himself in the sentencing phase of the federal trial, in which prosecutors were seeking the death penalty. In his five-minute closing argument, Roof declared, "In my confession to the FBI I told them that I had to do it, and obviously that's not really true... I didn't have to do anything. But what I meant when I said that was, I felt like I had to do it, and I still do feel like I had to do it."
Roof massacred nine black parishioners at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston during a Bible study in June 2015. He had initially hoped to find racist sympathizers with whom to carry out his plan, but was unable to recruit anyone. Jurors convicted him last month of 33 charges, including federal murder and various hate crimes.
Unlike what Roof no doubt hoped, the ruthless murders prompted a nationwide outpouring of racial unity that hadn't been seen before or since during the eight years of Barack Obama's tenure as President.