Judge To Formally Hand Down Death Sentence For S.C. Church Shooter

Dylann Roof appears via video before a judge in Charleston S.C

Charleston: A U.S. federal judge on Wednesday formally sentenced white supremacist Dylann Roof to death over the racially-charged killings of nine black churchgoers in SC, one day after a jury decided he should be executed.

Earlier, prosecutor Jay Richardson urged jurors to sentence Roof to death for "this cold, calculated, malicious killing".

One-by-one, the relatives took the stand, speaking directly to the killer. "May God have mercy on your soul".

As for Sanders and her son, the family is doing their best to move forward.

Felicia Sanders, who survived the attack, brought the bullet-torn, bloodstained Bible she had with her the night of the shooting.

"My mother can't even step a foot into church", she said. Dillegard Smalls said as Roof refused to turn toward her. I can't do it.

Sanders relatives include her grand-aunt Susie Jackson and her cousin Tywanza Sanders - two of the Charleston 9 shot to death inside Emanuel AME Church July 2015. He opened fire as they stood and closed their eyes for a final prayer. The book is still stained with blood.

"I need you to look at me", said Tyrone Sanders, father of the slain Tywanza Sanders, 26. "I wish you would look at me, boy, but I know that you can hear me", she was quoted as saying by Charleston's Post and Courier. "You will rot in hell where you belong". "You are the biggest coward I have seen in my life". But she added, "God has given you to Satan, and he made your soul Satan's playground". "I can not shut my eye to pray".

"You will know that", said Gergel, who has indicated that he will be unsealing transcripts of the hearings. Last week, Dylann, who was representing himself, gave his opening statement to the jury, telling them to forget anything his former lawyers had previously said about his mental stability or lack thereof. "I know we will not allow the enemy to steal our joy, our peace, and our hope".

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"The jury, acting as the conscience of this community, has assured that his hate, his viciousness and the moral depravity of his crimes will not go unanswered", Gergel said.

"What are you?" asked Marsha Spencer, who recently joined Emanuel Church, noting that the first day she entered the courthouse she was so afraid of looking into the face of evil she had a hard time bringing herself to walk in the door.

"So, for all of them to really be that committed to their job as a juror was a very incredible - to sit through that - and I appreciate it".

The Rev. Sharon Risher, who lost her mother, Ethel Lance, and has advocated for gun reform since the attack on Mother Emanuel, told Roof that she had taken an unpopular stance on his punishment: "Dylann, I was very vocal about you not getting the death penalty".

Bethane Middlleton-Brown, the sister of Middleton-Doctor, "I wanted to hate you but my faith tells me no", she said. God, I want to hate you. Melvin Graham, the brother of victim Cynthia Graham Hurd, says there are too many senseless shootings in this country.

"Dylann! Dylann! DYLANN!" Janet Scott, Tywanza Sanders' aunt, said, her soft voice swelling as she tried to ask Roof why he had not given her nephew a chance to show him how much love was in the church that night.

And while forgiveness has been offered from one side, Roof has shown no remorse for the slaughter during weeks in court.

The judge denied a motion by Roof for a new trial and new counsel.

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