Death for a devil: Gunman who massacred nine black worshippers to be executed

Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who killed nine black worshippers in a church in Charleston, South Carolina, has been sentenced to death.

Roof asked for mercy in sentencing but showed no remorse for his actions.

The gunman entered the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, home to a historically black congregation, and sat with worshippers for three hours on June 17, 2015, before he opened fire.

The 22-year-old was convicted last month for the horrific massacre that shocked the US, further igniting racial tensions across the country.

Roof said he did not regret the massacre. Photo: Getty Images

Roof, who has expressed no remorse for his actions at any point since carrying out the massacre, is also facing state murder charges in South Carolina, in a trial slated to begin January 17. State prosecutors there also are seeking the death penalty.

The victims, who had welcomed Roof into the church, ranged in age from 26 to 87.

Dylann Roof's victims: Top row: Cynthia Hurd, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton Middle row: Daniel Simmons, Rev. Depayne Middleton Doctor, Tywanza Sanders Bottom row: Myra Thompson, Ethel Lee Lance, Susie Jackson. Source: Getty/Facebook

His victims were made up of a pastor and state senator, a retired teacher, a librarian, a speech therapist and athletics coach, two mothers of teenagers, and a college graduate.

Roof, who has decided to represent himself in the sentencing hearings, spoke to the jurors for the first time last Wednesday and told them he was not mentally ill, and offered no remorse for what he did.

"My opening statement is going to seem a little bit out of place," Roof said calmly as he delivered the brief remarks at a podium, occasionally glancing at notes.

Roof calmly entered the church in June, 2015, with one intention. Source: Charelston Police

Roof's arrest was captured on dashcam.

Dylann Roof's custody photos. Photo: Getty Images

"I am not going to lie to you. ... Other than the fact that I trust people that I shouldn't and the fact that I'm probably better at constantly embarrassing myself than anyone who's ever existed, there's nothing wrong with me psychologically."

Shortly before Roof's statement, prosecutors presented a jailhouse journal in which he wrote that he did not regret the massacre or "shed a tear" for the dead.

Dylann Roof told the jury that he was not insane. Photo: Getty Images

Last summer Roof's legal team said it planned to introduce evidence that the defendant suffers from mental illness.

"I would ask you to forget it," Roof told jurors, referring to what his lawyers said then.

The prosecutor is set to call for the death penalty. Photo: Getty Images

Roof did not hide his racist views.

During the trial, Roof made no attempt to explain his crimes and exhibited no signs of remorse as survivors recounted the rampage in heart-rending detail.

Prosecutors had called for the death penalty on behalf of the federal government, based on hate crime law punishing racially motivated crimes.

Capital punishment rarely is meted out in federal cases, in part because violent crimes more typically are tried under state laws.

His actions brought renewed criticism on symbols of racism, leading to calls to ban the Confederate flag from public buildings.

Mourners visit a memorial site for those killed. Photo: Getty Images

The second last person to be condemned to federal death row was Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, convicted for his role in orchestrating twin bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in 2013.

Federal authorities have executed only three criminals since 1976.

A video of Roof's chilling confession to the killings was shown during the trial's first phase.

"Somebody had to do something because black people are killing white people every day," Roof said without emotion to the FBI special agent questioning him.

"They rape 100 white people a day."

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