Charleston Church Shooter Dylan Roof Becomes First to Get Death Sentence for Hate Crimes

Having been found guilty of all 33 charges following the Charleston church shooting, a jury unanimously sentenced him to death yesterday. Roof is the first person to be sentenced to death under federal hate crime statutes.

Roof was accused (and now convicted) of killing nine people with a semi-automatic handgun at a bible study class in a predominantly African American church in Charleston, South Carolina. Following a short manhunt he was captured by local law enforcement. During subsequent questioning he revealed that he had intended to start a race war between black and white Americans.

Roof represented himself during his trial after dismissing his court-appointed attorneys. He called no witnesses and made no arguments in an attempt to save his life, saying only, “I still feel like I had to do it. I have the right to ask you to give me a life sentence, but I’m not sure what good it would do anyway”.

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

Even if Roof declines to appeal, it will likely take years before the death sentence is carried out.


  1. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

    In that picture it looks like he has an extra chromosome.

      1. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

        A 3rd copy of chromosome 21 – resulting in Down syndrome.

    1. avatar FlamencoD says:

      Because that’s relevant.

  2. avatar Vhyrus says:

    “During subsequent questioning he revealed that he had intended to start a race war between black and white Americans.”

    Rule number 1, kid: The government hates competition.

    1. avatar Lcsw says:

      Yup, the left really did a great job at it too.

    2. avatar uncommon_sense says:


      I was thinking more along the lines of treason … which may also warrant the death penalty.

      1. avatar California Richard says:

        John Brown tried to start a race war and got the death penalty for treason….. he was also refered to as “the meteor of the (civil) war”….. two dudes justly executed if you ask me.

        1. avatar JasonM says:

          Don’t forget Charles Manson. He tried to make the Tate-LaBianca murders look like blacks committed them to start a race war.

      2. avatar barnbwt says:

        Hate crimes and treason are one in the same, as far as the purpose to is to severely punish crimes which are particularly effective at destabilizing our society & provoking internal strife, which is why;
        -both are so poorly defined and prone to subjective (and especially selective) interpretation
        -it should worry us all greatly that their reach & enforcement are expanding; think of all the protected racial/etc classes and number of hate crimes out there, then re-imagine them as being called “treason” or “political crimes.”
        Much like treason laws, terrible evil people do get extra aggressive enforcement, but there is also a tendency to inflate charges against criminals who happen to be at odds with those in power. Because tyrannical systems *create* criminals, this is a dark path to go down further than necessary to hold the nation together.

        1. avatar nativeson says:

          I oppose the creation of hate crimes as a matter of principle. They are unnecessary. Just as they were in this case. Roof committed a capital murder. The State of South Carolina law states that capital murder is punishable by either life confinement or death. State pprosecutors would have pursued and obtained a death sentence against Roof. The Feds jumped on this case for political reasons, all of which were connected to the race of the victim the President and millions of Democrat voters. All totally unnecessary.

  3. avatar Hannibal says:

    Hate crime statutes are bullshit

    He murdered 9 people. Kill him for that, not the thoughts in his head.

    1. avatar Bgoulette says:

      +1. The whole concept of “hate crimes” is pretty stupid, imho. It’s already illegal to kill people: whether Roof wanted to start a race war is irrelevant.

      1. avatar Simon says:

        Yeah, but how else are we going to start punishing thought crimes?

        1. avatar barnbwt says:

          To be fair, this was a *little* more than a thought crime. The reason for hate crime laws lies in the fact that their incidence cascades into widespread riots & revenge attacks, so there is a legitimate reason to pursue them more aggressively vs. garden variety stuff. It’s not motivated by justice so much as supply and demand (giving the people what they want, or rather, stopping that which makes them riot & burn down neighborhoods or bomb each other). So enforcement gets to go apeshit chasing these cases, and the media gets their field day, politicians get to condemn it roundly from both sides of the aisle, and the message is driven home hard to the populace at large that such attacks will not be tolerated. What would have previously been reason for two sides to draw battle lines, becomes an excuse for both to come together in condemnation of the criminal & those who support him (the recent thing in Chicago with the three morons and Youtube is a good example of hate crime laws giving black Americans and Democrat activists the political cover to condemn two idiots attacking a white guy without having to walk back their hate-filled rhetoric regarding Trump; it doesn’t stop the hatred, but it does help keep it from escalating)

    2. avatar Chief Master says:

      +1,000,000. Hate crime statutes are racist. Would a black shooter be convicted of a hate crime for shooting up a black church? Of course not. Hate crime statutes discriminate against the defendant based on the defendant’s race, sex, etc.

      1. avatar Buzz Word says:

        I think the Chicago torture case involving four blacks who tortured a white teen will be tried as a hate crime. Kidnapping charges have been filed too.

    3. avatar GS650G says:

      Calling it a hate crime means the left won’t feel sorry for him. No celebrities asking clemency, no concerts, no street names for him in france

    4. avatar Anon in CT says:

      Totally agree as to “Hate Crimes” statutes, BUT, malice (i.e. hate) is a component of intent and motive, and is absolutely something to consider in sentencing. It does matter “what’s in the criminal’s head”.

      1. avatar Rick says:

        I think that, legally speaking, malice is showing intent (mens rea). Hate crime is Orwellian bullshit.

      2. avatar barnbwt says:

        It should really be an additional offense to the murder, call it ‘inciting insurrection’ or something.

    5. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Once again, one need do nothing other that pull up the appropriate episode of South Park.

  4. avatar Robert says:


    He doesn’t deny it, he feels no remorse for it. Take him outside the courthouse and shoot him

    1. avatar Christian in KS says:

      That’s to nice for this pile of crap

    2. avatar barnbwt says:

      Nope, gotta wait for ten years of automatic appeals that even Roof probably doesn’t care to bother with at this point.

  5. avatar PROUD chicano says:

    What a POS. He murders people who are in church during prayers and for what cause?! Never let that failed confederate flag fly again because this it what it represents. If you have hate in your heart it will ultimately destroy you too.

    1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      You would do well to study some American History.

      The Confederate flag is a symbol. Symbols can mean different things to different people. That flag didn’t kill anyone, and statistically, the violent crime rate among Confederate flag wavers isn’t any different from the violent crime rate among non-Confederate flag wavers.

      1. avatar barnbwt says:

        Well, it absolutely was a symbol of segregation/racism, at least during the sixties when it came back into prominence. That’s why it consistently accompanied the dwindling Klansmen going around doing their thing. However, as you say it is a symbol, that means its meaning can change. That segregation angle *clearly* transformed into a more generic & non-threatening nostalgia for the Old South as a whole, to the point of becoming an emblem of pride in southern culture even *in absence and refutation of segregation & racism*

        People are diverse, therefore there are both a small number of racist rednecks who see the symbol of days gone by as an appeal to segregation, but to far, far more it is just one more pop-culture icon conjuring images of stubborn soldiers in grey hats, fried food enjoyed in poverty, a crappy TV show, and other member-berries. Its image as threat or throwback depends very much on context, a subtlety lost on Americans not from ’round here.

    2. avatar YAR0892 says:

      Yeah. I can’t let this comment pass either. I’m from SC, actually like the Confederate Battleflag, and have no problem with other races. The entire concept of other races is stupid. Colors, sure. Cultures, fine. Races? Biologically ridiculous. I’m glad you’re a proud Chicano, and I’m a proud Southerner. I don’t have the right to tell you not to fly whatever flag you like, so why do you think you have the right to tell me what flag I can fly? Just because some asshole did something bad and liked a flag/color/book/random object doesn’t group others in with him. BLM has instigated loads of violence in the last 3 years, yet I still wear black t-shirts. The Mexican Army was complicit in multiple murders and assisted the Sinaloa Cartel, yet I still eat Mexican food. Get off your artificially constructed racial high horse and put some actual thought into comments before insulting other POTG. Symbols, like firearms, are morally neutral. It’s what people do with them that is good or bad. The symbol/object alone is incapable of action.

      1. avatar PROUD chicano says:

        Everyone has the right to be proud of their background but let’s be honest about the confederate army. One simple way to do this is to ask yourself what would have happened if the South didn’t surrender and actually won the war. Would a person like me be privileged to the freedoms and basic civil rights that you enjoy? I didn’t think so either.

        1. avatar Darrelle L says:

          Let not us forget about the north and how they treated P.O.C. but hey when i make anecdotal statements like if the south won blah blah blah you dont know. and believe it or not ppl change

        2. avatar barnbwt says:

          1) The South never had any intention of conquering the North or beating them into submission as slave states
          2) The institution of slavery was in rapid decline, estimated to disappear in about a generation (at which point even the slave states would be chasing abolition internally) as was happening around the globe
          3) Despite all the lives lost, despite the massive losses of sovereignty by not just the south, but *all* states, despite having their representative elected governments replaced with ‘carpet baggers’ installed by the north, minorities like you were still treated like garbage with little interference from the federal government for about a century

          The war was not between people in black & white cowboy hats, but by people in grey and grey-blue caps. The north were unconstitutionally pressing their political advantage from denser populations & newfound industrialization to economically crush the southern political dynasties which had been holding the reigns for much of the nation’s history. They were corrupt, hungry gangsters seeking to annihilate their competition & steal their cheap labor (which they did in the end). The southerns were well within their rights to object to this new situation, but in doing so were forced to defend an abominable practice which was still necessary to their very existence as an economic power. Not just peoples’ livelihoods, but the very system of their livelihoods was at stake in a time when people starved or froze to death without money. Then as now, northern politicians sought to make the issue about slavery as much as possible, since that is what the south could not morally defend, but the slavery issue was much larger than simply being able to whip black people without consequences (which is how the institution of slavery is usually spun by revisionists). Southern men weren’t killing their brothers over something so petty as ‘property,’ but livelihood was another matter entirely. For the north, it was far more a morally-motivated crusade (as well as the belief perpetuated by Lincoln that the nation could not survive without the southern states contributing taxes & soldiers without representation…a situation reminiscent of the slavery that southerners were acutely familiar with –no wonder they fought back)

      2. avatar gunsoutbunsout says:

        Using your same logic, people should feel free to fly a Nazi flag as well. What could go wrong?

  6. avatar jwtaylor says:

    But but but..Obama said race relations are better than ever. This must have happened under Bush.

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      Right? In two months it’s gonna be like we just got through with Bush’s terms when the Dems try to explain all the messes Trump inherits. The only reason we’ll remember Obama at all is Trump will undoubtedly be sure to remind us daily that it’s all his predecessor’s fault, lol. Sun rise, sun set.

  7. avatar guidoc says:

    Quicker and cheaper to have given him life without parole, then let him try and
    survive in the general prison population.

    1. avatar Kendahl says:

      If the death penalty is replaced by life in prison with no chance of release, I doubt that the legal bills, which are the biggest cost of the death penalty, will diminish. Instead of trying to get the convict off death row, his lawyers would spend the same amount of public money arguing for parole or commutation. They wouldn’t be satisfied until the punishment was reduced to a slap on the wrist.

      1. avatar jwtaylor says:

        Note the suggestion that he be in general population. Doubt that there would be many appeals filed after the first week, assuming they could find the body.

        1. avatar Michael Ejercito says:

          His chances would be about the same as Vinson Filyaw’s chances.

        2. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

          “All guards in C block report to the cafeteria for a, ah, a briefing, yeah that’s the ticket a briefing. It’ll only take about 10 minutes. Hear that? Only 10 minutes. Don’t make a mess where there isn’t a drain.. I mean, that is all.”

        3. avatar Kendahl says:

          Maybe. Maybe not. There’s a good chance he would be protected by white supremacist prison gangs who would regard him as a hero.

    2. avatar Red in CO says:

      What, are you serious? You’ll find less hardcore racism at a KKK rally or a BLM protest than in prison. Roof would fit in just fine with the white boys on the inside. The only kinds of people that are universally deplored in prison are rats, sex criminals (particularly child molesters), and those who refuse to stand up for themselves.

      1. avatar Cliff H says:

        This whacked out little dipshit? Here, let me fix this for you:

        The racist white boys would fit just fine inside Roof.

        That’s the level of esteem they would have for this turd.

  8. avatar Amfivena says:

    Next we’ll have to hear that he can’t be executed because he wants to die.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      If that were the case half the married men in America would be nigh invulnerable.

    2. avatar Hannibal says:

      Maybe he should start calling himself Danielle.

      1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

        do you want to be the husband, or the wife in this relationship?

  9. avatar MLee says:

    I say we hang him from his feet and use him as a piñata. Smack him long enough, something will come out.
    I want to see something other than those retarded-ass looks of his. One of sheer terror would be a nice start.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Nah, just stake him out on top of a fire-ant mound…

      1. avatar Vhyrus says:

        Fire ants are way too nice. I suggest bullet ants or maybe driver ants.

  10. avatar Kendahl says:

    Usually, I have grave reservations about the death penalty because of the frequency of wrongful convictions. That’s not an issue here. Killing Roof will be like taking out the garbage. It’s too bad there wasn’t an armed person in the church to execute him before he murdered so many decent people.

  11. avatar Geoff PR says:

    I will have just two words to say about him on ‘Needle Day’:

    “Bye, Felica…”

  12. avatar VerendusAudeo says:

    One can argue that he was more likely sentenced to death for the nonuple homicide, not for hate crimes. The hate was just the cherry on top of the bloody sundae.

    1. avatar Anonymous says:

      I’m very much against “hate crimes.” I would say pretty much all of the time when someone murders someone else, hate was involved. He should be tried for killing people – the reason shouldn’t matter.

  13. avatar Ragnarredbeard says:

    Could we maybe stop giving this loon publicity?

  14. avatar Southern Cross says:

    A was thinking of a fair trial followed by a fair hanging but even the short-drop would be too quick and make him a martyr among like minded bigots.

    Give him life and put him among the general prison population. Anything after that is karma.

  15. avatar Avid Reader says:

    I don’t have a problem with this clown getting the needle. I do have a problem with “hate crime” laws. Murder is murder. It’s a capital crime. There are appropriate laws on the books for dealing with it.

  16. avatar MP says:

    Of course it’s a white person. That’s because they’re the only one ever convicted of hate crimes. Look at the black scum in Chicago that tortured the white, special needs kid. They weren’t sure they were going to call it a hate crime. Some of the racists in the media say it’s not a hate crime. Welcome to the post Obama apocalypse.

    1. avatar PROUD chicano says:

      But they WERE charged with a hate crime and what does Obama have to do with this? Racism has been a problem in the world longer than 8 years you know.

      1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

        indeed. america’s prejudism is in it’s infancy compared to thousands of years of hating people from the other side of the river (when we were shorter, and lived near the water). humanity will never become like fraida’s boneless cat. remember the last time (perhaps now…) when you exclaimed, “man i hate that ‘peranamus burger’s’ guts? like that, only forever.
        “bean’s and disease to you too, julio.”

  17. avatar Louis Marschalko says:

    When Lee Harvey Oswald, and/or whoever, had their thing with JFK in Dallas in 1963, it was not a federal crime to shoot the P.O.T.U.S. He/they would have to have been tried in a state court if he/they had survived/been identified.

  18. avatar Ralph says:

    No needle for this guy. That’s how we put down our beloved pets when they are too sick to go on. It’s an act of kindness. Roof deserves to ride the lightning.

    1. avatar Bill says:

      That’s what I’m talking about. Where I work, we sill have the chair and it’s still an option. Only thing is now the condemned get an option between the needle and the chair. However, if all the death penalty drugs “dried up”, they’d go back to the chair full time. That’s why when those companies were threatening to stop producing them, I was cheering it on.

  19. avatar Mr. AR says:

    Point of Parlimentary Procedure:

    Roof was represented by reputable and able counsel during his trial.

    His right to represent himself during the penalty phase was confirmed. Questions arise as to whether his aim was to; keep evidence of mental issues out of the penalty phase, or to speed him to martyrdom in the SC death house.

    His counsel did insert the mental “card” into the trial phase.

    Appeals will probably circle around the mental issues, his youth, 9th grade drop-out, etc.

    Get your wallets out, this’ll go on for years.

  20. avatar Concerned American says:

    What is interesting is that you can kill 20+ people and get a life sentence but when you shoot 9 black people you get a death sentence? was it just because this was a “hate crime” because almost any murder starts with hate, no matter what ethnicity you are part of, or what you think of others.
    dont get me wrong i am thankful that the Court has handed down a death sentence to this man for the horrible crime he commited, but why didnt the people of the Aurora shooting get justice? when will our country get back to justice for all?

  21. avatar Jason says:

    I use to support the death penalty. If I thought it would mean something, deture crime, I still would. All he did was shoot 9 innocent people. He knew he would be caught, be tried, and be put to death. Life in prison would be much more severe than death. He should be hung from the highest tree but he will be killed in the most humane way possible unfortunately. Hate crime does exist I’m afraid, but until Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton turn their selves in, we wont have a clear understanding.

  22. avatar Pete says:

    Rarely hear of a crime where the perp loved the victim.

  23. avatar former water walker says:

    Burn in hell you POS. Honestly the remarks about this BOY missing chromosomes seem apt. Yeah I think a “hate crime” is BS but prosecutors wanted a slamdunk here. And bowlhead boy is in the south which will hasten his demise. And I DON’T CARE if death is a deterrent…

  24. avatar tjlarson2k says:

    Public execution.

  25. avatar ATTAGReader says:

    I don’t know about a decade worth of appeals. The psychopath mentor of the DC Sniper team was dispatched to the land of virgins or grapes much sooner, meaning in just a few years. This cretin may go as quickly. I would prefer a public hanging at high noon the day after the verdict for either of these creeps – two sides of the same coin.

  26. avatar Chris T from KY says:

    The idea of a “hate crime” is anti-American. I’m glad he got the death penalty. There is nothing wrong will killing evil people.
    The government kills evil thru police and soldiers.
    I would just like the government and private land owners to let us kill evil on their property, by ending gun free zones.

  27. avatar Coolbreeze says:

    Please, kill him quick. Git r dun.

  28. avatar Jason says:

    If you want him gone in an unpleasant way, throw him in a pig pen bound and gagged. In a couple of hours all you will find are dental remains.

  29. avatar Lucas D. says:

    Should have given him life imprisonment with the general pop. Effectively a death sentence, but it’d get carried out a hell of a lot quicker and would’ve been much more satisfying to read about a few weeks from now.

    “I heard you don’t like us… but that’s a’ight, because we love little white boys like you.”

  30. avatar Don says:

    That’ll show him. Next time someone wants to mass murder innocent people, do it for love, not hate!

  31. avatar Ebby123 says:

    How about we just hang him for murder and call it a day?

    F***ing pond scum doesn’t deserve to be the center of a debate, or a discussion. He deserves to be taken out back, shot, and buried without further remark.

    He deserves to be forgotten.

  32. avatar Buzz Word says:

    The genocides of the 20th century have changed the way human beings interact with one another: fear is now the rule. Hate crime statutes exist in response to the fear of getting attacked for one’s race, class, age, religion and so on. Gun rights work to keep minorities out of concentration camps too. As a famous historian once remarked, the Nazi Holocaust has changed everything.

  33. avatar Anonymous says:

    I can see why they gave him the death penalty, but I would have not. Roof was a young man in search of purpose, and he found it on a white supremacist website. At least with life in prison, he could have had the opportunity to write some great books about how not to be a racist dbag.

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