There’s no need for a second death trial because Dylann Roof is expected to plead guilty to murder charges in his state trial 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 say that Roof agreed to plead guilty to 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.
It will be interesting to see how this case moves forward.