Nine Consecutive Life Sentences Added to Dylann Roof’s Punishment

By Kenrya Rankin Apr 11, 2017

Update, April 11, 10:01 a.m. ET:

Per The Post and Courier, Circuit Judge J.C. Nicholson sentenced Dylann Roof to nine consecutive lifetime prison terms plus 90 years yesterday (April 10). He was already sentenced to death in federal court for the same crime.


After being sentenced to death in federal court for killing nine Black people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, Dylann Roof will not stand trial for his 2015 crimes in state court. Roof is a self-described White supremacist. He is the first person in the nation’s history to receive a death sentence for committing a federal hate crime.

The Washington Post reports that Roof will plead guilty to nine counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder next month, which means neither Roof nor the family of the victims will have to attend another death penalty trial.

Prosecutor Scarlett A. Wilson sent a letter to the families explaining the Roof, who is now 22, will plead guilty in exchange for a sentence of life in prison on the state charges. His federal sentence will not change.

Per the letter, which was obtained by The Washington Post: “The plea is negotiated, which means it is ‘carved in stone.’ … A guilty plea in state court means that if something very, very, very unlikely were to happen at the federal level, the state sentence would take effect and he would serve life in prison … and no more trials!”

The New York Times reports that the federal government has not carried out an execution since 2003.