Dylann Roof, the man who admitted to committing the mass shooting that killed nine people in a church, was recently sentenced to death. Roof opted to represent himself during the sentencing phase of the trial. He didn't fight against the death penalty at all. In fact, he didn't cross-examine any witnesses or make any coherent statements.
The jury that heard Roof's case was comprised of nine white jurors and three black jurors. This was considered a fairly important point in the trail because Roof is a self-avowed white supremacist. He committed the federal crime in the hopes that it would spark a race war.
Roof said that despite his actions, he doesn't hate black people. Instead, he claims that he hates the things black people do. Even though he made that assertion, he noted that he didn't feel sorry for what he did. He also noted that there wasn't any point in fighting against the death penalty in this federal hate crimes trial.
It took the jury three hours to come to a decision about the man's fate. His attorneys made a statement to the family letting them know that they sympathize with the situation the family is in. They also issued a warning that there is a chance that the ultimate outcome of this case probably won't occur anytime soon because of the chance of appeals being launched.
This brings up the interesting point that even though Roof admitted to his actions, there is a still a chance for appeals because he received the death penalty. Anyone who is facing federal charges should understand how their statements and actions might affect their rights as they move through the system. This includes people who are facing federal charges that might lead to the death penalty.
Source: The Post and Courier, "Dylann Roof sentenced to death for Emanuel AME Church massacre," Glenn Smith, Jennifer Berry Hawes and Abigail Darlington, Jan. 10, 2017