Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Court Upholds Death Sentence for Mother Emanuel Church Mass Shooter

  • Kayla Koslosky

    Kayla Koslosky has been the Editor of ChristianHeadlines.com since 2018. She has B.A. degrees in English and History and previously wrote for and was the managing editor of the Yellow Jacket …

    More
  • 2021 Aug 27

On Wednesday, a federal appeals court upheld a death sentence against convicted mass shooter Dylann Roof.

According to The Christian Post, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit rejected a request to commute Roof’s death sentence asserting that no legal record or sentence “can capture the full horror of what Roof did.”

In June 2015, Roof joined a Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, also known as Mother Emanuel Church, in Charleston, South Carolina, and then opened fire on the members, killing nine people.

All the members that were killed were Black. Roof, who was 21 at the time, is white.

Roof, The Christian Post reports, had made several racist comments online, indicating that the murderers were racially motivated and fueled by white supremacist ideology. Roof reportedly wrote online that he hoped his actions would incite a race war.

In his request for the death penalty to be dropped, Roof reportedly argued that the court made an error when they deemed him fit to stand trial for his crimes.

The panel, however, rejected these claims.

“Roof murdered African Americans at their church, during their Bible study and worship. They had welcomed him. He slaughtered them. He did so with the express intent of terrorizing not just his immediate victims at the historically important Mother Emanuel Church, but as many similar people as would hear of the mass murder,” the panel said on Wednesday.

“No cold record or careful parsing of statutes and precedents can capture the full horror of what Roof did. His crimes qualify him for the harshest penalty that a just society can impose,” the panel concluded.

Roof was found guilty of 33 charges of federal hate crimes resulting in death, firearms violations and the obstruction of religion in December 2016.

In 2017, at 22, Roof was sentenced to death. According to The Associated Press, during the trial, Roof never showed signs of remorse for his actions.

Roof is the first person in U.S. history to be sentenced to death for committing a federal hate crime.

Photo courtesy: ©Getty-Images/Jeff Gentner/Stringer


Kayla Koslosky has been the Editor of ChristianHeadlines.com since 2018. She has B.A. degrees in English and History and previously wrote for and was the managing editor of the Yellow Jacket newspaper. She has written on her blog since 2012 and has also contributed to IBelieve.com and Crosswalk.com.

Follow Crosswalk.com