Dylann Roof Sentenced to Death

I do not like the death sentence. This doesn’t surprise me but it is not a good thing.


I hear you. I feel the same way.

But in comparison to all the killers who get away scot-free because they’ve killed people of color, well, at least this is better.


Honestly, I think this is what he wanted to happen, so that he could go out as a martyr for his cause as opposed to having 70+ years to dwell on what he did.

I also wonder if his lack of self-defense during this part of the trial will trigger an appeal?


While I don’t typically support the death penalty, given how it is usually done, and several other aspects of the legal proceedings and associated biases… in this case, I’m making an exception, due to the utterly unambiguous nature of both the crime and the (AFAIC) incurable hate present within Roof.

Or, to paraphrase my former mentor, “A monster like that needs to stop breathing my oxygen”.

But, then again, I’m coming from a background where I was raised as thinking of the Nuremberg trials and the associated executions as being one of the only positive outcomes from the Holocaust, so I recognize that intrinsic bias there. If I was on the jury, I’d try to get myself recused because I know that I would be informed by that bias.


YI mean, he’s inarguably guilty, and the death sentence was always on the books. Roof doesn’t seem to care, he’s totally unapologetic and seemed to want this.

But I just don’t like the idea of state sanctioned killing. And I’d rather Roof had to live the rest of his life contemplating his actions. And that he wasn’t a martyr to his cause.


I totally understand that point of view (and I feel the same about the death penalty), but at the same time, I do think this is just a step removed from suicide by cop… he wanted to be executed, I think, for the reasons I mentioned above. The blood and soil rhetoric favored by white supremacist makes these deaths into a rallying cry. They get to point to people like Roof being unfairly treated by a system supposedly stacked against the white, Christian race and their message is carried on to others who admire such willingness to make that ultimate sacrifice for the race…

So I don’t know. The whole thing was so depressing on a million different levels.[quote=“daneel, post:5, topic:92700”]
But I just don’t like the idea of state sanctioned killing. And I’d rather Roof had to live the rest of his life contemplating his actions. And I’d rather he wasn’t a martyr to his cause.

Yep. But I see bibliiophile’s point, too.


The thing is, that’s an argument by adverse consequence, and basically boils down to, “We can’t treat white supremacist murderers according to the law, because other white supremacists will use it as an example of how they’re being ‘persecuted’”. So long as white supremacists have the persecution complex that they have displayed, that will always be the case, and by allowing them to dictate that sort of double standard, it perpetuates the problem.


Take whatever small comfort you can in the fact that he did not get sentenced to a lifetime in a house of torment.

It’s not a victory, by any means, but at least after he’s exhausted his appeals in a decade or so he will no longer be part of the process of actively destroying others.

Remember life internment trades the health, lives and sanity of prison guards* and their families** for a sordid mockery of conscience.

* who commit suicide at double the rate of the general population, and suffer PTSD at ten times the national rate.

** who are subjected to parental and spousal abuse at a rate matched only by that of police officers’ families.


I’m seeing a pattern here.

But why would we want to change our prison system from one that benefits a handful of rich people to one that benefits the people who spend the most amount of time there, whichever side of the law they happen to be on?


In many cases I agree. But I don’t actually care about the well-being of a proven hate-filled mass-murderer such as Roof. I don’t even share @bibliophile20’s confidence that there’s no possible way mental health treatment could rehabilitate him. I just don’t want resources expended to help him in any way.

My objection to the death penalty has nothing at all to do with the inhumanity of it (particularly in this case where it appears to be giving the convict what he wants). I oppose the death penalty because I oppose the state having such barbaric power over its people, however democratically meted out. And while trial by jury may very well be the least unfair system we can enact, it’s far from truly impartial.

I’d much rather he get life in prison without possibility of parole. That said, Dylann Roof is not the hill on which I choose to stand and fight the death penalty when there are far better cases to argue against its existence.


Sure and I get that. But they also WANT that and romanticize it. In generally, I lean against the death penalty anyway and since he especially wants it, too. I don’t know…

the prisoners don’t do so well either. We need comprehensive prison reforms to focus on helping people reform rather than punishing them, I think. But yes, the men and women who work in the prison system often have serious problems caused by their jobs.


I am not in favor of the death penalty at all, but if there was ever a case where it was justified, this is it.

On the other hand, this:

and this:

This is where I’d be in favor of the capital punishment if I ever was, but this is too easy to politicize, and too light of a sentence. The instances where I’m in favor of the death penalty must be near-zero and existing only in thought experiments.


The company we keep


I agree with most of this. But in the case of Roof, I don’t see it as vengeance, just that there’s no good reason to spend millions of dollars keeping him alive for potentially half a century or more. The world doesn’t need him, and he’s proven he’s not a part of civilization. Didn’t he admit that he didn’t expect to survive his attack? The US has many travesties of justice, this ain’t one of them.


In addition to cases seeking the death penalty costing on average about twice as much as those seeking life in prison, he’ll spend years on death row and still cost the state millions. I do understand your point, but in the end I don’t think the cost of the punishment should be the determining factor either way for a murder trial or sentencing. Compared to the amount of money collectively hoovered up by corporate prisons for locking non-violent offenders in their modern-day plantations, the money to jail Roof for a few decades instead of one plus cost of lethal injection is probably a rounding error.


I think killing killers is analogous to torturing torturers or raping rapists. There’s a perverse sense of justice to it but it comes at the cost of our own humanity.


I do not like the death penalty, either. But if ever it is to be sentenced (and carried out), it is here - in this case. All of the criteria that I feel have to be met in order to be punishable by death, have been met. A heinous heinous crime, zero doubt of guilt, a remorseless perpetrator… yeah, I have no issue with this sentence. I support this jury’s decision.


So killing people is ok if they’re really bad after all?

I’m against killing people. Full stop.

Yes, he’s a piece of shit. He’s still a human being deserving as much compassion as we can muster for what made him the way he is. I don’t want him walking around but state sanctioned murder does nothing to address what he did. It just makes some people feel better.


Moreover, it legitimatizes institutional brutality which never stops at the people who deserve it. It also gives the pro-capital punishment a token white mass-murderer as if to say: See, we don’t just execute brown people. We execute white people too, as long as they murder nine people, are totally unapologetic and destroy their own criminal defense because they want to be a martyr.


@falcor would you please move this into the main Boing post