Justice Department Seeks Harshest Possible Penalty for Charleston Shooter Dylann Roof

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC - JUNE 19:  In this image from the video uplink from the detention center to the courtroom, Dylann Roof appears at Centralized Bond Hearing Court June 19, 2015 in North Charleston, South Carolina. Roof is charged with nine counts of murder and firearms charges in the shooting deaths at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17. (Photo by Grace Beahm-Pool/Getty Images)

Justice Department Seeks Harshest Possible Penalty for Charleston Shooter Dylann Roof

The 21-year-old opened fire on a Black church last year.

Published May 24, 2016

Loretta Lynch and the U.S. Justice Department think Dylann Roof should die.

The attorney general announced on Tuesday that they will seek the death penalty for the Charleston shooter, who is accused of killing nine people when he opened fire on a bible study group at historically Black Emanuel A.M.E. Church last June.

"Following the department's rigorous review process to thoroughly consider all relevant factual and legal issues, I have determined that the Justice Department will seek the death penalty," Lynch said in a statement. "The nature of the alleged crime and the resulting harm compelled this decision."

Roof, 21, was charged in July and later indicted for federal hate crimes. He received 33 federal charges, including charges for nine murders, three attempted murders, and weapons.

"This is the archetype of the original domestic terrorism," Lynch said at the time. "Several months prior to the tragic events, Roof conceived his goal of increasing racial tensions and seeking retribution for perceived wrongs that he believed African-Americans have committed against white people."

Written by Evelyn Diaz

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