Charleston shooter Dylann Roof found guilty in racist 2015 massacre of 9 black church members


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/12/15/charleston-shooter-dylann-roof.html


#2

I wish this was just another story, really - that there was no doubt of this outcome, rather than relief that Justice was served this time.

Let’s hope the sentencing is also as appropriate.


#3

Admittedly, there really was no doubt of this outcome. Roof confessed on tape, the defense didn’t call any witnesses, and Roof didn’t testify. If he was trying to win, he wasn’t trying very hard.

Not sure what you mean; nine counts of murder, he’ll either get life without parole, or death.

I, for one, am not hoping for death.


#4

Poor kid; if only he had thought to join the police first, he would be a free man today.


#5

There’s been more than a few instances of mitigating circumstances blunting sentencing recently. I hope this won’t be one of them.

Agreed.


#6

Acting as his own lawyer? Awesome, go ahead asshole. There’s a difference between perceived notions of how the justice system and trials work, and how it actually works.

I would be inclined to agree. But in particular cases like this i really would not think twice about it if it were decided that he face the death sentence.


#7

yeah, of course i’m happy that they saw fit to see him guilty of all the charges, because he is. but i’m not hoping for a death sentence – i’m just hard-pressed to come up with a sentence that fits the crime.


#8

While in principle I believe that everyone has a right to a fair trial no matter how heinous their crime, in this case it was pretty much in the bag for the prosecution. Why he didn’t just plead guilty and be done with it, I don’t know. But then, the prosecution had no motivation to offer him some kind of plea deal where he might avoid the death penalty, so I guess he figured he might as well take his chances in court.


#9

Just follow the magic procedure:

  1. Say “Stop resisting”
  2. Pull trigger
  3. Repeat as necessary
  4. Say “I feared for my life”

#10

That’s the problem isn’t it? There are only 2 real options, incarceration or death penalty. Anything else is cruel and unusual punishment. But when someone commits a truly hateful heinous crime and has no remorse then there’s no reasonable thing you can do to punish them. If you kill them they will never have the potential to repent, but if you keep them incarcerated does that sentence really ever match the severity of the crime?


#11

In the US prison system, incarceration is far crueler than mere execution, though sadly not unusual. But we all die; hastening the day is neither cruel nor unusual if done quickly and efficiently.

If the only choices are prison or death, give me death, regardless of whether I’m guilty or not.


#12

Oh, if that’s what you mean, than 100% agreed. If anyone should be shut away from society indefinitely, Roof should.

That’s the trap, though.

It’s hard to get rid of the death penalty when the option of “only for the very worst” remains.

And much harder to fight against a gradual expansion of what “the very worst” means than it is against the simple idea of “We don’t do that.”

If we let ourselves say, “Well in this guy’s case, I don’t mind,” then we’re never going to win the fight to get it abolished, or even used responsibly.

In addition to the life sentence, add community service in an African-American community?

Maybe we should get rid of the idea that the justice system is supposed to be retributive. The “you hurt us, so we’ll hurt you” idea of punishing people for crimes is medieval and should be abandoned in favour of a more civilized, rehabilitative one. I doubt anyone like Roof will ever be rehabilitated, so he will need to be kept incarcerated for public safety, if nothing else, but I think that by having a conversation in terms of “matching the severity,” you’re putting the criminal justice system on a morally equivalent level with the criminals.


#13

I approve of this statement.


#14

Does it need to?

I think Norway’s doing it right with that alt-right waste of oxygen that killed all those kids.
Treat them humanely, treat them with compassion and care, and if they never take a step outside a prison again, so be it. Because justice should always have the chance of redemption, even if release is not an option. And a society’s worth is shown by how it deals with the very worst of it, not the very best.


#15

yes, this is actually exactly what i was thinking. my buddhism-based faith is inclined to feel that he needs to learn that we’re all the same, and making him work in the african american community would be a way to do this. but even that idea is fraught with problems… which community group would ever agree to take him on? talk about turning the other cheek! and as absurd as it sounds, you’d have to somehow maintain his safety while he serves out his sentence of community service in the community he did so much harm to.


#16

For sure i do agree that the death penalty should be done away with, i was just sharing my total lack of sympathy for this guy (no surprise there).

And you’re totally on the money on the justice system not being a mechanism for meting out punishment, but being a way to rehabilitate (or attempt to). Cases like this though really test one’s ability to be impartial though… i really would not mind being rid of this guy.


#17

I should say that the meat of my post was commenting on the concept of sentencing matching the severity of the crime. I myself don’t subscribe to this, but there’s always cases like these that will push one’s opinions.

Great example on your part by the way :slight_smile:


#18

We don’t have any punishment available that fits this crime.


#19

Looking in terms of simple effectiveness, a particularly bad punishment doesn’t make those people less dead, or improve the lives of their loved ones. It doesn’t make it less likely that others will do the same – if anything, the opposite is true. Collectively learning from this and implementing measures to end this kind of radicalisation is the only thing that will do any actual good, aside from removing him from society.


#20

Based on how this guy researched his target, I’m not sure if that proves he IS crazy or proves that he definitely IS NOT.