Clearly, Dylan Roof is no coward in terms of accepting his punishment. In fact, he’s mildly spoken but defiant.
On Wednesday, he addressed the jury that found him guilty of murder. The prosecution argued for the death penalty. Roof is representing himself in this phase of his trial, in which his punishment will be determined.
Obviously, they will vote for the death penalty, which seems to be what Roof wants.
Dylann Roof spoke Wednesday for the first time to the jurors who will decide whether he should be executed for fatally shooting nine black parishioners during a Bible study, insisting that he is not mentally ill and forgoing a chance to plead for his life.
The soft-spoken 22-year-old white man told the jury that he was not trying to keep any secrets from them. He did not offer remorse or seek forgiveness or ask them to spare him from a lethal injection.
“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. “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.
Roof’s attorneys have indicated that he chose to represent himself during the sentencing phase of his trial because he was worried his legal team might present embarrassing evidence about himself or his family. As early as last summer, they said they planned to introduce evidence that Roof suffers from mental illness, and they hinted at that idea again during closing arguments of the trial’s guilt-or-innocence stage.
“I would ask you to forget it,” Roof told jurors, referring to what his lawyers said then.
Prosecutors said Roof deserves the death penalty because he painstakingly chose to target vulnerable people at Emanuel AME Church in the June 2015 attack. He sat with church members for about 45 minutes and waited until their eyes were closed in prayer before opening fire. He told Polly Sheppard that he wanted to leave her alive to tell the world that he attacked a historic black church because blacks were “raping our women and taking over the nation.”
Two other people also survived.
I’m not sure how Dylan feels about white people these days. White nationalists have given him no support that I am aware of.
Perhaps his role model is Timothy McVeigh, who viewed himself as having a mission no matter the personal cost.