A federal jury has convicted Dylann Roof in the racially motivated slayings of nine black church members in South Carolina.
The jury reached its verdict after less than two hours of deliberations. They convicted the 22-year-old white man of hate crimes and other charges.
They will reconvene next month to decide whether he should get the death penalty or be sentenced to life in prison.
Roof just stared ahead as the verdict was read, much as he has throughout the trial.
— Melissa Egan (@MelisEgan) December 15, 2016
Roof will almost certainly spend the rest of his days in prison after being convicted of hate crimes, but whether they’ll end in lethal injection has yet to be determined.
The same jury that convicted Roof on Thursday will return Jan. 3 to decide whether to impose a death sentence or life in prison for the June 2015 massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston.
When that testimony starts, Roof will be his own attorney. Immediately after he was convicted of 33 counts, he again fired his defense lawyers.
Those attorneys have suggested in court papers that Roof doesn’t want them introducing embarrassing evidence that could spare his life.
The jury must decide if Roof will face life in prison or the death penalty.
Isn't it crazy how a small part of us were scared Dylann Roof wouldn't get convicted? That's so wild considering what he did
— Jay (@JonesingForJas) December 16, 2016
Can you believe they convicted Dylann Roof? Our systemically racist, white supremacist justice system seriously botched it on this one.
— Andrew Klavan (@andrewklavan) December 16, 2016
Dylann Roof deserved to be convicted for his crimes. But so do many others who enact violence against black people & never see a courtroom.
— Clint Smith (@ClintSmithIII) December 15, 2016