SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – What’s next for Dylann Roof now that a jury has decided he should die?
“I can’t remember when we’ve had such a disastrous thing happen,” says former 7th Circuit Solicitor Holman Gossett. “Nobody likes to see a life taken but in this instance… Justice was served.”
Gossett says Roof can now ask for a new trial.
“He didn’t have any attorneys helping him in the penalty phase so he may make that motion after reflecting on it, it was not a wise choice,” Gossett says. “Then it would go through the process of automatic hearings with appellate courts to see if there’s any reason under the law that it should not stand legal grounds.”
He says that could take years in a federal case, where death verdicts are rare.
“There’s only been three sentences of death carried out since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1988 in federal court,” says Gossett. “So, you see, not many have gone through to completion.”
Gossett says though a lengthy process lies ahead, this decision is a step towards justice for those directly affected who’ve exemplified their faith.
“That should be a message to the rest of the world that tragedy happens but we still don’t lose our heart and Christianity and lash out in hate. They let it go through the legal process and we’ve come to a just point at this stage,” Gossett says.
Roof is the first to get the death penalty for a federal hate crime case, according to the Associated Press. His formal sentencing is Wednesday.