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Dylann Roof sentenced to death for the murders of nine black church members

Dylan Roof becomes the first person in the US to be given the federal death penalty for hate crimes

The federal jury has just sentenced Dylann Roof to death for killing nine black church members in a racist attack in 2015.

A jury returned the verdict after less than three hours of deliberation. Reporters in the courtroom described Roof as staring “straight ahead” and “emotionless” as U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel told him his fate.

In his final argument to jurors, Roof, a 22-year-old white man, said he felt like he had to carry out the slayings on 17 June 2015.

“I still feel like I had to do it,” Roof said. Holding on to his racist beliefs, he said: “Anyone who hates anything in their mind has a good reason for it.”

People have also said on twitter how happy they are that he is being sentenced to death.

Najee Washington holds a photo of her grandmother Ethel Lance, one of the nine people killed in the shooting at Emanuel AME church.

Najee Washington holds a photo of her grandmother Ethel Lance, one of the nine people killed in the shooting at Emanuel AME church. Photograph: David Goldman/AP

Roof acted as his own attorney and did not question any witnesses or put up any evidence.

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