Sometime after Roof killed nine Bible study worshipers at this city’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, he wrote in a journal that he had “not shed a tear for the innocent people I killed.” On Wednesday morning, standing before the jurors who will decide if he should get the death penalty, Roof again offered no apology, no explanation and no remorse for the horrific massacre. Roof, now representing himself, repeatedly assured jurors that he was not mentally ill, and left it at that. “There’s nothing wrong with me psychologically,” a strong factor that could have determine life or death.
By then, the court had already been horrified by the reading of two pages from Mr. Roof’s journal he had written while in jail which officials seized back in Aug 2015. It read like a white supremacist manifesto, “I would like to make it crystal clear I do not regret what I did, I am not sorry.”
On Wednesday, Roof went on to ask that jurors pay no mind to his Lawyer’s previous attempts to question his mental health stating, “If you happen to remember anything that my lawyers said… I ask you to forget it,” he said, concluding his statement.
He said it was “absolutely true” that he’d fired his lawyers and chose to self-represent to keep them from presenting evidence of his having a mental illness. “It isn’t because I have a mental illness that I don’t want you to know about,” he said. “It isn’t because I have a secret.”
Later, he stated: “Other than the fact that I trust people that I shouldn’t… there’s nothing wrong with me psychologically.”
Roof’s remarks lasted for about four minutes, far shorter than the opening statement given by federal prosecutors. The U.S. attorneys arguing that Roof should be put to death told jurors that what they’ll hear from witnesses and see in new evidence will make Roof’s crimes appear “worse.”
“This case is worse because of the reason he killed those people,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathan Williams said during the opening statement. “He killed them because of the color of their skin.”