Dylann Roof gets his death wish

Twenty-two-year-old white supremacist Dylann Roof has been sentenced to death for the murder of nine worshippers at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17, 2015.

The sentence comes after a relatively short trial in which Roof insisted on representing himself following a dispute with his legal team over what, if any, evidence to present regarding his mental health. A jury found Roof guilty on all 33 counts he’d been charged with on December 15 after just two hours of deliberation. (Roof had already signed a full confession.) Most likely because he wanted records from his competency hearing to remain sealed, Roof declined to call any witnesses or present evidence during sentencing, or to mount any sort of mental health defense. In a diary entry that was read aloud at trial, Roof said he was “morally opposed” to psychology, calling it “a Jewish invention.”

All of these measures helped Roof control the flow of information about him, but they also made it much harder for him to evade the death penalty. After his arrest, Roof offered to plead guilty to the murders in exchange for life in prison, but federal prosecutors decided to go to trial and seek the death penalty for him.

A statement from Roof’s family expresses sympathy for his victims and lingering confusion at what caused him to commit such an atrocity:

Roof’s defense team expressed similar confusion, as well as regret they couldn’t shed more light on why Roof did what he did.

Capital punishment is a barbaric measure that has no place in civilized society. Still, few tears are likely to be shed for Roof, who murdered nine innocent people as they attended church because he’d read some pseudoscientific theories online and wanted to start a race war.

[Photo: Getty]