Death Sentence of Arsonist that Killed 9 SC Church Parishioners Affirmed

Dylann Roof, the individual behind the 2015 massacre at a historic African American church in Charleston, South Carolina, was convicted and sentenced to death. He appealed the sentence. On Wednesday, a federal appeals court upheld the conviction and the death sentence. It was a unanimous decision from a three-judge panel, which affirmed the trial judge’s finding that Roof was competent to stand trial. Roof had argued that he could not stand trial due to a mental illness.

Roof’s defense team will likely appeal the decision to the Supreme Court; meanwhile, there are currently no executions scheduled while the Justice Department reviews the death penalty policies put in place during ex-Pres. Trump’s presidency, where record number of executions were performed.

While Pres. Biden is personally opposed to capital punishment, his administration continues to support the execution of Roof, who was convicted of killing 9 black parishioners as they were praying during bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church; he is the first to be sentenced to death for a federal hate crime.

In a statement, US attorney’s office in South Carolina has praised the court’s decision.

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