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Press Release

U.S. Attorney’s Office Issues Statement Following the Court of Appeals Decision to Uphold Dylan Roof Verdict

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina---- Following the decision by the United States Court of Appeals to uphold the conviction of Dylan Roof – the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina issued the following statement, attributed to Criminal Chief Nathan Williams, who served as one of the lead prosecutors on the case:

“The Mother Emmanuel AME Church massacre committed by the hate-filled murderer Dylan Roof is one of the worst events in not only South Carolina’s history but also our nation’s history,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney and Criminal Chief Nathan Williams.  “Our office is grateful for the decision of the court, a decision that ensures, as the Court stated, that ‘the harshest penalty a just society can impose’ is indeed imposed.  Moreover, our office is grateful that justice will be served for the victims, survivors and their families.”

The Court of Appeals decision read in part:

“Dylann Roof murdered African Americans at their church, during their Bible-study and worship. They had welcomed him. He slaughtered them. He did so with the express intent of terrorizing not just his immediate victims at the historically important Mother Emanuel Church, but as many similar people as would hear of the mass murder. He used the internet to plan his attack and, using his crimes as a catalyst, intended to foment racial division and strife across America. He wanted the widest possible publicity for his atrocities, and, to that end, he purposefully left one person alive in the church “to tell the story.” (J.A. at 5017.) When apprehended, he frankly confessed, with barely a hint of remorse.

No cold record or careful parsing of statutes and precedents can capture the full horror of what Roof did. His crimes qualify him for the harshest penalty that a just society can impose. We have reached that conclusion not as a product of emotion but through a thorough analytical process, which we have endeavored to detail here. In this, we have followed the example of the trial judge, who managed this difficult case with skill and compassion for all concerned, including Roof himself. For the reasons given, we will affirm.”



Michael Mule' (843) 327-0882

Updated August 25, 2021

Violent Crime