Court upholds death sentence for shooter who killed 9 people in Charleston church


A federal appeals court upheld the death sentence of Dylan Roof: a white man convicted of the mass shooting of black members of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Roof, 27, sought to appeal his conviction to the US Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, which concluded that even the most «thorough analysis of laws and precedent cannot convey the horror of what Roof did.»

“His crimes deserve the harshest punishment that a just society can impose.”

The court recalled the crimes of a man who, on June 17, 2015, as a 21-year-old white supremacist, entered to church and joined a Bible study group.

According to the court, “the parishioners greeted Ruf, handing him the Bible” and for the next 45 minutes he prayed with those present — however, then he took out a pistol and opened fire.

“Having fired about 74 shots, Ruf approached one parishioner who prayed loudly. He told her to “shut up” and then asked if he had shot at her again.”

According to the court record, Ruf told her: “I will not touch you so you can tell this story.”

A man killed nine people: Reverend Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Cynthia Heard, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lee Lance, Reverend DePaine Middleton-Doctor, Reverend Clement Pinckney, Taiwanese Sanders, Reverend Daniel Simmons Sr. and Reverend Myra Thompson.

Roof, who was convicted of murder and other crimes including nine counts of racially motivated crimes, was sentenced to death in early 2017.

On appeal, the shooter contested legal capacity, claimed errors at the sentencing stage, and insisted that some of the indictment statutes might be unconstitutional.