Attorney General Loretta Lynch just made a move you might actually agree with. In a statement just released, Lynch announced federal prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Dylan Roof, who is accused of murdering nine at a Charleston, SC African-American church last summer.
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) May 24, 2016
As CNN reports:
Roof is charged with 33 federal offenses, including hate crime charges for allegedly targeting his victims on the basis of their race and religion.
“The nature of the alleged crime and the resulting harm compelled this decision,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said.Roof, 22, is accused of shooting participants of a Bible study class at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, known as Mother Emanuel, in downtown Charleston on June 17, 2015.
Among the victims was the church’s pastor, the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who also was a state senator.Roof, who is white, is charged with murder. Charleston County Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said last year that she will seek the death penalty in the state’s case, which is scheduled to go to trial in January.
There is no date yet for his federal trial.
You’ll recall that Roof confessed to the heinous crime and told investigators he wanted to start a race war — removing any doubt that his targeting of the African-American church was driven by racially-motivated hate.
Immediate reaction to the DOJ’s announcement has been met with praise from all sides, including some liberals who admit to generally not favoring the death penalty. At such a divisive time in our nation, it’s nice to highlight areas of agreement — just tragic that we have to be having this discussion in the first place.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]