It came out that Dylann Roof confessed to authorities that he killed “those [them]” people in the Charleston, SC church, Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (Sanchez & O’Shea, 2016). However, the problem lies in the numbers of people he claimed he murdered.
(The State Newspaper, 2016)
Five [pause]. Five [pause]. I’m really not sure. – Dylan Roof (The State Newspaper, 2016)
Dylan Roof claims that he can not recall the number of people he killed during the shooting, but that he believes that it may be five (Sanchez & O’Shea, 2016). However, the number Roof stated during his confession does not match the actual number of deaths that the state is charging him for, which is nine (USDJ, 2016). This is indeed problematic.
In the Federal Indictment, counts 1-9 shows Roof is being charged with 9 counts of “A Hate Crime Act Resulting in Death” (USDJ, 2016).This means that Roof only claimed to maliciously murder five of these nine victims in an act of hate. It also SEEMS to invalidate, but doesn’t dismiss, the understated number of the three counts in “A Hate Crime Act Involving an Attempt to Kill” (USDJ, 2016). This pattern repeats with the confession appearing to invalidate the overstated counts of death presented in the charge for the “Obstruction of Exercise o f Religion Resulting in Death (9)” and the charge for the “Use of a Firearm to Commit Murder During and In Relation to a Crime of Violence (9)”. It also seems to invalidate the understated counts of death presented in the charge of the “Obstruction of Exercise of Religion Involving An Attempt to Kill and Use of a Dangerous Weapon (3)” (USDJ, 2016).
The state and the federal government knows the number of those dead in the church after Roof’s visit. However, this confession makes it extremely blurry whether all those murdered and injured were victimized by Roof. The big question of the day is will those victims receive justice? As well, because he already confessed to an authority figure, under duress I am sure some will say, he may be offered a plea deal.
The court probably sees him as compliant. I would not be surprised if they offer him only a life sentences for a confession. But the upside is that because of the charges given to Roof in the Federal and State court, the chances for a plea deal is slim. But it can definitely happen (Hawes & Knapp, 2016).
Please check out the full interrogation here:
References and What to Read:
US Department of Justice (USDJ). 2016. Dylann Storm Roof Indictment – US Department of Justice. Retrieved from https://www.justice.gov/usao-sc/file/632581/download&sa=U&ved=0ahUKEwjAjZnTnOzQAhVF8CYKHYGHB-IQFggVMAQ&sig2=SlIBF8vvB3kr0-i_GAj0WQ&usg=AFQjCNH-GrofBxxLxYkhMnqxx5_YJS-gMw
Sanchez, R. & O’Shea, K. 2016. Mass shooter Dylann Roof, with a laugh, confesses,’I did it’. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/09/us/dylann-roof-trial-charleston-video/index.html
Hawes, J. & Knapp, A. 2015. Feds seek death penalty for Roof. Retrieved from http://www.postandcourier.com/archives/feds-seek-death-penalty-for-roof/article_90de41e8-cdd2-5256-82fb-9b43a497c1c1.html
The State Newspaper. 2016. Dylan’s Roof Confession Tape. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/bmKMxB6LwEU
WCBDNEWS. 2016. WATCH: Dylann Roof’s Confession FBI agents. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/JKRoFoy_Hpc