"If he is convicted, Roof, too, will have last words to share before he is injected with the poison that will take his life. I don’t know what he will say, but I know it won’t bring back those nine people in that church. All it will do is help continue a cycle of brutal retribution in which our tax dollars fund state-sanctioned murder. And it won’t make us all that different from him."
"Is the death penalty cruel and unusual punishment?"
A majority of the court’s members did not say why they didn’t want to answer the question, but presumably some of them thought the court already answered the question in 1976, when it reaffirmed the constitutionality of capital punishment after a brief moratorium.
Authorities will have two chances to see that Dylann Roof meets the same fate as his victims.
But never in modern times have both state and federal prosecutors sought someone’s execution at the same time. How they will manage two death penalty cases could break legal ground and offer some lessons.
“We are in completely uncharted waters,” said Chris Adams of Charleston, an experienced capital defender. “The federal government’s decision (to seek the death penalty) creates many more questions than it does answers.”Read more