The shooter who gunned down nine people in a racist attack at the Emmanuel AME Church in Charlston, South Carolina in June could be facing the death penalty as reparation for his actions.
State prosecutors have announced their wish to see 21-year-old Dylann Roof tried and sentenced to death for the cold blooded murder of nine – and attempted murder of one other – at a prayer meeting at the church on 17 June.
Though many of the victim’s families have not sought the death penalty, solicitor Scarlett Wilson has opted to pursue it regardless, stating that Roof killed more than two people and put other lives at risk.
Scarlett Wilson Says:
Many have expressed the need for the hope to find forgiveness in order to heal and to move forward in their lives. We all agree that forgiveness is an important part of the healing process, but know that forgiveness does not necessarily mean forgoing consequences, even severe consequences.Advertisement
Some victims, some family members of victims, because of their faith, do not believe in the death penalty under any circumstances. Some believe the death penalty is just too easy. It’s not a religious consideration. It’s a philosophical consideration, a practical consideration.
Police arrested Roof the day after the massacre where he confessed to the killings, saying he had hoped to start a race war. His apparent mental stability and lack of remorse have also contributed to the decision.
South Carolina has carried the death penalty for particularly barbaric crimes since it was reinstated in 1974, and has used a lethal injection since the early ’90s. Since 1974, 43 people have been executed at the Broad River Correctional Institution in the State capital, Columbia.