Dylann Roof has been sentenced to death for the 2015 Charleston church shooting.
Last month, Roof was convicted of all 33 federal charges against him, including murder and hate crimes, in connection with the mass shooting that killed churchgoers at the historically black parish.
Roof represented himself during the penalty phase of the trial. It took the jury mere hours to deliberate before the verdict was announced, The Associated Press reported.
Before the jury headed into deliberations, Roof told them that he still feels he had no choice.
“In my confession to the FBI I told them that I had to do it, and obviously that’s not really true. … I didn’t have to do anything,” Roof said during his five-minute closing argument in the penalty phase of his federal trial, CNN reported. “But what I meant when I said that was, I felt like I had to do it, and I still do feel like I had to do it.”
Roof also suggested to the jurors that he’d like to be spared the death penalty. The jury’s decision had to be unanimous to sentence Roof to death.
“From what I’ve been told, I have a right to ask you to give me a life sentence, but I’m not sure what good that will do anyway,” he said. “But what I will say is only one of you has to disagree with the other jurors.”
Before Roof’s statement, prosecutors delivered a two-hour impassioned argument urging the jurors to sentence him to death rather than to life in prison without parole.
They argued that Roof is a calculating killer and reminded the jurors of some of the gruesome details in the case, including that Roof had gone to the church three previous times to scout his target and that he sat with the group for more than 40 minutes before he started shooting.
In June 2015, Roof, an avowed white supremacist, killed nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Since then, has “showed not one ounce of remorse,” prosecutors said.
Roof also faces a state trial in which he may again face the death penalty, ABC News reported.
In a statement, Roof’s defense team expressed sympathy “to all of the families who were so grievously hurt by Dylann Roof’s actions.”
“Today’s sentencing decision means that this case will not be over for a very long time. We are sorry that, despite our best efforts, the legal proceedings have shed so little light on the reasons for this tragedy,” the defense team said.
Roof’s family said they “will always love Dylann” and “will struggle” as long as they live “to understand why he committed this horrible act, which caused so much pain to so many good people.”
“We wish to express the grief we feel for the victims of his crimes, and our sympathy to the many families he has hurt,” Roof’s family said. “We continue to pray for the Emanuel AME families and the Charleston community.”