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Wednesday, 11 January 2017 19:18

Fury, forgiveness at condemned South Carolina church gunman's sentencing

Written by  Reuters

CHARLESTON, S.C. White supremacist Dylann Roof, condemned to death for a mass shooting at a Charleston, South Carolina, church, heard forgiveness and fury at his sentencing hearing on Wednesday from grieving loved ones of the nine slain black parishioners.

Some victims' family members called the 22-year-old Roof evil and deserving of the death penalty for the June 17, 2015, attack at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the oldest African-American congregation in the American South.

"I want your soul to burn in hell," said Gayle Jackson, a niece of 87-year-old victim Susie Jackson.

Others said their Christian faith required them to forgive. They echoed comments at Roof's first court appearance after the shooting, where several victims' relatives shocked the country with their merciful tone toward the suspect.

"I wanted to hate you, God, I wanted to hate you, but my faith told me no," Bethane Middleton Brown, sister of victim DePayne Middleton Doctor, 49, said on Wednesday.

As they spoke, several family members asked Roof to look at them. He did not.

A jury of nine whites and three blacks last month found Roof guilty of 33 federal charges, including hate crimes and obstruction of religion resulting in death. On Tuesday, the jurors recommended he be put to death.

Read more at Reuters

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