Charges have been filed in the case of the shooting massacre that claimed the lives of nine congregants of an historic black church in Charleston, S.C.
Police say that shooter Dylann Storm Roof, 21, has been charged with nine counts of murder and one weapons possession charge. Just before the charges were announced on Friday morning, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley told NBC News' Savannah Guthrie that Roof deserves the death penalty.
Susan Dunn, the Legal Director of the ACLU of South Carolina, did not wish to speculate on the outcome of 21-year-old's impending trial. But she told Fusion over the phone that, if Roof ends up in a maximum security prison, it would probably be in state capital Columbia: "It's not overcrowded, but otherwise it's pretty grim."
Dunn added that Roof, who is white, is not representative of the average person who faces the death penalty in the state: "When you look at the whole history of the death penalty in South Carolina, it's unfortunately the same kind of history you find anywhere in the Deep South. It's poor people of color for whom the death penalty has had the biggest blow, when you look at how it's actually been applied."
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Roof, who was apprehended by law enforcement in North Carolina on Thursday, has confessed to the shooting. Investigators told CNN that he wanted to start a "race war."
The white 21-year-old's history of racist ideology is well documented, and, according to NBC News, he reportedly claimed, "I have to do it. You rape our women and you are taking over our country. And you have to go,” before opening fire on churchgoers at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on Wednesday.
Although police are investigating the massacre as a hate crime, Fusion previously reported that South Carolina is one of only five states in the country that doesn't have hate crime legislation on its books.
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