Dylann Roof, the 22-year-old who shot and killed nine black worshippers in June 2015, has just been sentenced to death.
The tragic shooting occurred at a Bible study even in Charleston, South Carolina.
Roof, a self-described white supremacist, is the first person to get the death penalty for federal hate crimes.
The jury reached the verdict after deliberating for less than three hours. Each member of the 12-member jury agreed unanimously on the case and Roof was convicted of all 33 charges against him.
Following the decision, Roof made a brief and nonsensical closing argument, saying:
You may remember in my confession I said I had to do it. I guess that’s not really true. I didn’t have to do it, no one made me do it. What I meant when I said that was I felt like I had to do it and I still feel like I had to do it.
According to Vice, Roof also requested that the court appoint new lawyers.
Judge Richard Gergel, who presided over the case, allegedly told Roof that he was “strongly disinclined” to heed this request, so it looks like that won’t be happening anytime soon.
Throughout the trial, Roof appeared cold and emotionally detached.
Prosecutors asserted that he had spent months plotting the massacre, and had patiently spent half an hour loading his gun outside the church. This crime was premeditated, thought-out and horrific. In addition, Roof showed zero remorse for his actions.
The verdict is the second high-profile conviction for a hate crime in recent weeks.
Last week, the four youths who beat and tortured a disabled white man – and then live streamed it on Facebook – were also charged with hate crimes.
If anything, the recent U.S election shows just how divided the country is.
And it seems that the country is still a long long way from healing the racial issues that are at the heart of this divide.