Today, justice was swift and righteous. In less than two hours, a jury returned a guilty verdict on all 33 federal charges. On the evening of June 17th, 2015, a 21 year old Dylan Roof slaughtered nine parishioners as they began their prayers at the historical Mother Emanuel, the oldest African Methodist Episcopal Church in the south. Dylan Roof, a self declared white supremacist, confessed on a chilling FBI video to these calculated and horrific murders while our country mourned this evil hate crime and grieved another mass shooting. In January 2017, the jury of 12 will reconvene to determine whether Dylan Roof will face the death penalty.
Today’s verdict is merely one step in the painful journey that lies ahead for the families of the deceased and the two parishioners who were blessed with surviving the massacre. As we enter this season of peace, we offer prayers that today’s events can bring the mothers, fathers, sons, daughters and grandchildren of these nine victims some measure of resolve as they continue their journey onward.