Jury condemns Dylann Roof to death for South Carolina church massacre

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CHARLESTON, S.C., Jan 10 (Reuters) - A U.S. jury on Tuesday condemned white supremacist Dylann Roof to death for the hate-fueled killings of nine black parishioners at a Bible study meeting in a Charleston, South Carolina, church in 2015.

The same jury last month found Roof, 22, guilty of 33 federal charges, including hate crimes resulting in death, for the shootings at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Jurors deliberated for less than three hours. Roof showed no emotion as the verdict was read, Charleston's Post and Courier newspaper reported.

Related: Dylann Roof shooting trial and sentencing

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Dylann Roof, Charleston church shooter, trial and sentencing
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Dylann Roof, Charleston church shooter, trial and sentencing
Department of Homeland Security officers stand outside the Charleston Federal Courthouse during the federal trial of Dylann Roof who was found guilty of 33 counts including hate crimes in Charleston, South Carolina December 15, 2016. REUTERS/Randall Hill
John Pinckney (C) father of Emanuel Church shooting victim Rev. Clementa Pinckney, leaves the Charleston Federal Courthouse after Dylann Roof was found guilty on 33 counts including hate crimes in Charleston, South Carolina December 15, 2016. REUTERS/Randall Hill
Family and friends of the Emanuel Church shooting victims, arrive at the Charleston Federal Courthouse during the federal trial of Dylann Roof in Charleston, South Carolina January 10, 2017. REUTERS/Randall Hill
CHARLESTON, SC - JULY 31: Attorney William Nettles, part of the defense team for Dylann Roof, arrives at federal court prior to the arraignment hearing for the Emanuel AME gunman JULY 31, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina. Roof, the shooter involved in the June 17 massacre at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston faces 33 federal charges, including hate crimes. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
CHARLESTON, SC - JULY 31: Jerome Smalls stands outside a federal court building JULY 31, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina. Earlier in the morning Dylann Roof, the shooter involved in the June massacre at Emanuel AME Church was arraigned on 33 federal charges, including federal hate crimes. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
Charleston, SC - December 6, 2016: Mother Emanuel AME Church photographed Tuesday, Dec. 06, 2016 in Charleston. (Photo by Alex Holt for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Police lead suspected shooter Dylann Roof into the courthouse in Shelby, North Carolina, U.S. June 18, 2015. REUTERS/Jason Miczek/File Photo
Judge J.C. Nicholson makes a point during a hearing on a gag order in the pending trial of Dylann Roof, at the Judicial Center in Charleston, South Carolina July 16, 2015. The South Carolina Press Association is challenging a decision by Judge Nicholson made last week on potential trial participants as well as banning the release of documents in the case, including 911 police dispatch calls, coroner's reports and witness statements. REUTERS/Randall Hill
Photo shows the Charleston Federal Courthouse during the federal trial of Dylann Roof in Charleston, South Carolina, U.S. January 10, 2017. REUTERS/Randall Hill
Anthony Thompson, husband of Emanuel Church shooting victim Myra Thompson, leaves the courthouse during a break at the Charleston Federal Courthouse during the federal trial of Dylann Roof in Charleston, South Carolina, U.S. January 10, 2017. REUTERS/Randall Hill
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"Justice is served in Charleston," Malcolm Graham, shooting victim Cynthia Hurd's younger brother, said in a post on Twitter following the verdict. "There's no place in a civilized society for hatred, racism or discrimination."

Roof, who represented himself for the penalty phase, was unrepentant during his closing argument earlier in the day. He told jurors he still felt the massacre was something he had to do and did not ask that his life be spared.

A U.S. prosecutor argued that Roof deserved to die because the shooting was calculated and intended to incite racial violence.

On June 17, 2015, Roof sat for 40 minutes with parishioners gathered for a Bible study meeting before opening fire as they closed their eyes to pray, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Richardson said.

Roof pulled the trigger 75 times as he methodically killed Hurd, 54; Clementa Pinckney, 41, the church's pastor and a state senator; DePayne Middleton Doctor, 49; Sharonda Coleman Singleton, 45; Susie Jackson, 87; Ethel Lance, 70; Myra Thompson, 59; Daniel Simmons Sr., 74; and Tywanza Sanders, 26.

Related: Charleston, SC church shooting victims

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Charleston, SC church shooting victims
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 19: Photographs of the nine victims killed at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina are held up by congregants during a prayer vigil at the the Metropolitan AME Church June 19, 2015 in Washington, DC. Earlier today the suspect in the case, Dylan Storm Roof, was charged with nine counts of murder. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 19: Photographs of the nine victims killed at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina are held up by congregants during a prayer vigil at the the Metropolitan AME Church June 19, 2015 in Washington, DC. Earlier today the suspect in the case, Dylan Storm Roof, was charged with nine counts of murder. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 19: Congregants depart a prayer vigil for the nine victims killed at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church pass by photographs of the nine shooting victims in Charleston, South Carolina outside the the Metropolitan AME Church June 19, 2015 in Washington, DC. Earlier today the suspect in the case, Dylan Storm Roof, was charged with nine counts of murder. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
A woman holds a sign and the funeral program for shooting victim Cynthia Hurd's funeral service at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina June 27, 2015. REUTERS/Jason Miczek
Standing before the presidential rostrum, Rev. Sharon Risher reacts as she holds a photo of her mother Ethel who was a victim in the Charleston Church mass shooting last year during an event held by U.S. President Barack Obama to announce new gun control measures, at the White House in Washington January 5, 2016. Obama made an emotional plea on Tuesday in defense of his administration's plan to increase background checks for buyers of firearms over the Internet and at gun shows, saying current exceptions do not make sense.REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Pleshette Grant and her son Evan arrive for funeral services to begin for Ethel Lance at the Royal Missionary Baptist Church in North Charleston, South Carolina June 25, 2015. Lance is one of the nine victims of the mass shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Clifford Jones waits for funeral services to begin for Ethel Lance at the Royal Missionary Baptist Church in North Charleston, South Carolina, June 25, 2015. Lance is one of the nine victims of the mass shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. REUTERS/Brian Snyder TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
S.C. Sen. Clementa Pinckney, pictured in 2012, was among those killed Wednesday, June 17, 2015 in a shooting in a church in downtown Charleston, S.C. (Andy Shain/The State/TNS via Getty Images)
SHE HAS A NAME; Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, a mother of four daughters, singer in church choir was killed at AME. http://t.co/YoqNF1yiOD
SHE HAS A NAME: Myra Thompson, killed last night at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. She was teaching bible study. http://t.co/NlqoNfjPP2
HE HAS A NAME: Rev. Daniel Simmons, Sr., another pastor at the Emanuel AME church who was killed last night. http://t.co/n4sz9GBBxf
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Whether Roof was competent to serve as his own attorney will be a fundamental issue in the appeals process, said Robert Dunham, executive director of the nonprofit Death Penalty Information Center said in a telephone interview.

Roof did not want jurors to hear mental health evidence and put up no defense against the death penalty. Defense lawyers likely will use the trial to show appellate judges that mental illness prevented him from adequately representing himself, Dunham said.

"Today's sentencing decision means that this case will not be over for a very long time," Roof's lawyers, who represented him for the guilt phase, said in a statement.

"We are sorry that, despite our best efforts, the legal proceedings have shed so little light on the reasons for this tragedy," said the lawyers, who objected to Roof's self-representation.

Roof also still faces a trial on murder charges in state court, where prosecutors also are seeking the death penalty. (Additional reporting by Letitia Stein and Jon Herskovitz; Writing by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Alan Crosby and Jonathan Oatis)

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