“I would like to make it crystal clear. I do not regret what I did,” White supremacist Dylann Roof wrote in his journal back in 2015 after murdering nine Black churchgoers who welcomed him with open arms. “I am not sorry. I have not shed a tear for the innocent people I killed.” Six years ago, Roof visited the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina as they were having their weekly Bible study service. He sat for a while before pulling out a weapon and opening fire. It was later learned that he had patronized the church at least eight times before the shooting.

Earlier this year, Roof’s legal team submitted court documents to request that his death sentence be tossed out because then-22-year-old allegedly suffered from anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues, as well as had a ninth-grade education and was incompetent to stand trial. The appeal has been examined by the courts and their decision wasn’t what Roof was hoping to hear.

Dylann Roof
Handout / Getty Images

The year following the mass murder, Roof was found guilty of 33 counts and sentenced to death, and his legal team has been doing their best to overturn the sentencing. On Wednesday (August 25), a three-judge panel upheld the killer’s sentence and spoke on the severity of his callous act.

“Dylann Roof murdered African Americans at their church, during their Bible-study and worship. They had welcomed him. He slaughtered them,” the judges wrote in their ruling. “He did so with the express intent of terrorizing not just his immediate victims at the historically important Mother Emanuel Church, but as many similar people as would hear of the mass murder.”

“No cold record or careful parsing of statutes and precedents can capture the full horror of what Roof did,” they added. “His crimes qualify him for the harshest penalty that a just society can impose.”

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