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Judge formally sentences Dylann Roof to death

In this  2015 file photo, Charleston, S.C., shooting suspect Dylann Roof is escorted from the Cleveland County Courthouse in Shelby, N.C. (Chuck Burton / Associated Press)
In this 2015 file photo, Charleston, S.C., shooting suspect Dylann Roof is escorted from the Cleveland County Courthouse in Shelby, N.C. (Chuck Burton / Associated Press)

CHARLESTON, S.C. – A judge has formally sentenced Dylann Roof to death for killing nine black worshippers in a racist massacre at a Charleston church.

U.S. Judge Richard Gergel handed down the sentence Wednesday at a hearing to affirm the jury’s decision on the death penalty for the 22-year-old avowed white supremacist. Gergel couldn’t change the jury’s decision.

Roof showed no reaction as he has through almost all of the federal hate crimes trial. He also did not choose to speak Wednesday and kept a blank face as Gergel sentenced him.

More than 30 family members of the victims at Emanuel AME church spoke during the hearing. Some were angry, others forgiving. But they all said Roof failed at his goal to further divide blacks and whites.

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