Dylan Roof To Plead Guilty On Murder Charges To Avoid Death Penalty

Dylann Roof in striped prison jumpsuit

Photo Cred: Pool / Getty Images

A second trial for Dylann Roof will be unessecary due to the fact that he plans on pleading guilty to murder charges next month. He was sentenced to death earlier this year for killing nine black parishioners at the Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston, S.C. in 2015.

Prosecutors are saying that Roof agreed on pleading guilty on all murder charges in exchange for a sentence of life in prison. “The plea is negotiated which means it is ‘carved in stone,’ ” Scarlett A. Wilson, the prosecutor overseeing Roof’s case in state court, wrote in the letter to the victims’ families.

“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,” she wrote. She added in parentheses: “And no more trials!”

Federal death sentences such as Roof’s are extremely rare and less commonly end in execution. There have only been three federal executions since the federal death-penalty statute was reinstated in 1988 and expanded in 1994.