From [HERE] and [HERE] Dylann S. Roof, so-called self-radicalized racist who killed nine black parishioners last year when he opened fire during a long-planned assault on Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, was found guilty by a federal jury after an uncontested trial here on Thursday.
Mr. Roof, 22, stood, his hands at his side and his face emotionless, as a clerk read the verdict aloud in Federal District Court, where he had been charged with 33 counts, including hate crimes resulting in death.
Mr. Roof, whose lawyers conceded his guilt, will face the same jurors when they gather on Jan. 3 to decide whether he will be sentenced to death or life in prison without parole. The jury deliberated for only about two hours on Thursday afternoon. The jury was made up of nine whites and three blacks. [MORE]
The outcome seemed a foregone conclusion from the first minutes of the trial, which began on Dec. 7 and included a swift acknowledgment from the chief defense lawyer, David I. Bruck, that Mr. Roof was responsible for the “astonishing, horrible attack” on June 17, 2015.
Mr. Roof had confessed to investigators nearly 18 months earlier and revealed his purpose in his so-called blatantly racist manifesto that he allegedly published online. His choice of targets seemed intensely premeditated — according to the "manifesto" he scouted the church half a dozen times — although he also researched other black churches and a festival elsewhere in South Carolina before settling on Charleston because, he wrote, it is the “most historic city in my state.” However, he neglected to premeditate any get-away plan and planned to get caught.
Prosecutors and defense lawyers agreed on the basic contours of Mr. Roof’s march toward racial animosity. He belonged to no hate groups and acted alone in Charleston, but they said he had been an avid consumer of racist materials online.
“You can easily give him way too much credit for thinking of this stuff if you don’t see where it came from,” Mr. Bruck said of Mr. Roof, who had declared in his writings that he had not been “raised in a racist home or environment.”
In a 53-minute closing argument, an assistant United States attorney, Nathan S. Williams, depicted Mr. Roof as “a man of hatred, a man who’s proven to be a coward and a man of immense racial ignorance.”
The prosecutor’s voice often rose in outrage, and the jurors were again shown photographs of the carnage Mr. Roof left behind: blood, bodies, and bullet-scarred tables. “He must be held accountable for each and every action he took in that church,” Mr. Williams urged.
Mr. Roof has said he intends to represent himself during the penalty phase, so Mr. Bruck, as he has done throughout the trial, did his best on Thursday to suggest that his client was unstable, and thus not fully accountable.
Mr. Bruck, who called no witnesses, peppered his closing argument with words like “abnormal,” “delusional,” and “suicidal.” Mr. Roof told the F.B.I. in a confession shortly after being arrested that he had saved ammunition to kill himself if, as he expected, he confronted the police when he left Emanuel.
The government's tale went as follows,
The Wednesday night assault on the oldest A.M.E. congregation in the South began less than an hour after Mr. Roof entered through an unlocked side door and took a seat at a weekly Bible study meeting. The congregants, including the church’s pastor, the Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, were studying the parable of the sower. When the congregants closed their eyes for a familiar benediction, the sound of gunfire roared through the fellowship hall.
When they looked up, they saw Mr. Roof holding a semiautomatic pistol he had bought about two months earlier and concealed in a pack on his waist. Mr. Pinckney was the first wounded, and the churchgoers began diving below the room’s circular tables. Mr. Roof kept firing, striking the victims at least 60 times. One photo showed a table bearing an opened Bible, a study sheet and an empty magazine.
The three survivors were Ms. Sanders, Ms. Sheppard and Ms. Sanders’s 11-year-old granddaughter. During turns on the witness stand, Ms. Sanders and Ms. Sheppard described the havoc that turned a house of worship into a blood-soaked scene.
Ms. Sheppard told jurors that Mr. Roof had approached her and asked whether she was wounded. She was not. “I’m going to leave you to tell the story,” Mr. Roof replied, according to Ms. Sheppard.
Mr. Roof was arrested the next morning in Shelby, N.C., where F.B.I. agents questioned him for about two hours and began to piece together his descent into racist thinking and how, over the course of six months, he planned his assault.
But before Mr. Roof spoke of his beliefs, which he had detailed in a handwritten journal and an online manifesto, he admitted to the attack. “I did it,” Mr. Roof said. The manifesto was never updated and appears to be written by multiple authors. [MORE]
The confession served as the centerpiece of the prosecution’s case. Prosecutors also introduced an array of technical evidence, such as phone records and GPS data, to demonstrate Mr. Roof’s premeditation and document his views on race.
The trial featured six days of testimony from 30 prosecution witnesses, including a recorded confession and excerpts from Roof's journal, and it painted a picture of a young man filled with racial hatred who spent months planning to murder black people.
No one testified on behalf of Roof. Apparently, Mr. Roof's defense lawyer did not make a single objection during the entire "trial."
During closing argument Roof's attorney argued Roof was a suicidal, impressionable loner who never grasped the gravity of what he did. However, if his defense attorney wanted to mitigate or minimize Roof's criminal responsibility for the murders it could have offered expert testimony or other evidence to explain the undue influence older adults or racist materials had upon Roof. With no apparent defense strategy, Roof could have also changed his plea from "not guilty" to guilty prior to trial. The trial seem to serve no purpose for Roof. If he intended to do a "slow plea" in front of the jury then Roof could have testified to explain himself. But he didn't.
Defense attorney David Bruck conceded in his closing argument Thursday that Roof killed the victims and even praised the FBI investigation.
Due to the contrived nature of the evidence (immediate, volunteered full confession, murder plans journal, unauthenticated facebook page, a familiar, convenient narrative, immaculately planned murders without a get-away-plan, etc) many believe that the entire episode was a false flag operation conducted by the government [public servants (police) murder Black people all the time. The generic narrative keeps people polarized, misdirected and fearful]. This uncontested trial will probably do little to dispel many of the false flag theories out there.