Federal prosecutors announced they will seek the death penalty for Dylann Roof today (May 24). The 22-year-old murdered nine people who he had just prayed with in a Charleston, SC church in July 2015.
Roof is charged with 33 federal offenses, including hate crime charges for allegedly targeting his victims on the basis of their race and religion.
“The nature of the alleged crime and the resulting harm compelled this decision,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said.
Roof, 22, is accused of shooting participants of a Bible study class at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, known as Mother Emanuel, in downtown Charleston on June 17, 2015.
Among the victims was the church’s pastor, the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who also was a state senator.
Roof, who is white, is charged with murder. Charleston County Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said last year that she will seek the death penalty in the state’s case, which is scheduled to go to trial in January.
Is the death penalty an appropriate punishment or should he just rot in prison for the rest of his life?
Let us know where you stand and why in the comments.
Photo: AP Photo/Chuck Burton