On Wednesday, parts of the Charleston shooter Dylann Roof’s journal were used in court during a hearing to determine whether he is mentally competent to be given a full sentence in the light of his 33 guilty federal hate crime charges.
Roof’s journal, kept during his time in jail, recounted Roof’s feelings about the crimes he committed. While appearing remorseful might have helped him avoid the death sentence, Roof’s journal made it clear just how remorseless he truly is.
“I would like to make it crystal clear,” the journal read. “I do not regret what I did. I am not sorry.”
Making a case for his mental competency before the sentencing stage of his hearing, Roof represented himself rather than using an attorney, and tried to tell the jury that he was of sound mind.
“There’s nothing wrong with me psychologically.”
Roof had previously pled guilty to all charges, but said that he felt he had no choice because he felt something must be done about African Americans in the U.S.. Roof bemoaned the fact that currently, there are no white nationalist groups who murder minority groups, so he felt compelled to take action.
Whether or not Roof is considered of sound mind is still up for discussion, and the court has yet to rule on that part of the hearing. Still, it’s hard to listen to the words of this young man and believe that he is so incredibly filled with hate, rather than mental illness.
“I am guilty,” he said. “We all know I’m guilty.”
Many survivors of Roof’s violent attack and the families of those he killed have mixed feelings about the possible death sentence he faces. Some support the penalty, while others want him to live to remember the faces of those whose lives he stole.