Dylann Roof: Killing 9 Black Churchgoers Was 'Worth It'

Roof defends sanity but refuses to show remorse to jurors
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2017 12:15 PM CST
Dylann Roof to Jury: I'm Sane, I Have No Regrets
In this June 18, 2015 photo, Charleston, SC, shooting suspect Dylann Roof is escorted from the Cleveland County Courthouse in Shelby, NC.   (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

Dylann Roof addressed jurors for the first time during his trial Wednesday and neither apologized for killing nine people during Bible study at a historic black church in Charleston nor asked jurors to spare his life, the New York Times reports. Instead, Roof used his opening statement on the first day of the sentencing phase to defend his sanity. "There's nothing wrong with me psychologically," he told jurors. According to the AP, Roof said the only things wrong with him are that "I trust people that I shouldn't and...I'm probably better at constantly embarrassing myself than anyone who's ever existed." Roof is representing himself to prevent defense attorneys from questioning his mental health and plans on calling no witnesses and bringing no evidence in his defense.

The prosecution argues Roof's lack of remorse is part of the reason jurors should sentence him to death, Fox News reports. On Wednesday, jurors were read to from Roof's post-killing journal. In it, he says he did "not shed a tear for the innocent people I killed" and "I would like to make it crystal clear I do not regret what I did." He says his sorrow is reserved for "the innocent white children forced to live in this sick country" and "the innocent white people that are killed daily at the hands of the lower race." He says killing nine black people was "worth it." Roof was convicted last month; jurors will now decide between life in prison and the death penalty. (More Dylann Roof stories.)

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