Should Dylan Roof Receive the Death Penalty?

CBS News

As I discussed earlier this week, capital punishment is a tough subject. There are those for it, and those against it. In early January, Charleston massacre assailant Dylann Roof was sentenced to death by grand jury. Some believe Roof is the most evil human alive, and that type of evil should not be allowed the gift of life. Others believe that Roof should rot in prison for the rest of his life and suffer the psychological damage that comes with it. So, what is the right choice? There isn’t one.


The most overwhelming response to this question in terms of Dylann Roof is that he should be put to death. I don’t blame this side of the argument one bit. However, what about Roof’s loved ones? I cannot imagine being in their position right now. Before I go any further, it may very well be the case that they support the jury’s decision. But I find that hard to believe. Dylann Roof’s family members will never be the same. There will be countless years of therapy and emotional rollercoasters. Not to mention the amounts of hate his family will likely receive — simply because they are his blood. If Roof is put to death, this will not make his family’s healing process any easier. If Roof was put in prison for life, he may never speak to his family. However, it would give them hope. When someone is inside of a cell for so long, they have to talk to someone. If nothing else, this hope of closure is a ray of sunshine in a cloud of darkness that looms of the Roof family.


If Roof was given the opportunity to live out his life in prison, it may be a blessing for his family. It may not. It would definitely not be a blessing for each of the nine victim’s families. In the face of all this tragedy, the families have to move on with their lives at some point. It is hard to move forward when you know your loved ones killer is still being fed, clothed, and taken care of in a separate entity. It is a gigantic pill to swallow. It’s even harder to confront when realization is placed upon you that some of you taxes likely pay for this killer’s life in prison. Although this may seem harsh, it is the truth. Putting Roof to death would not only “benefit” the victim’s families — it also benefits the state government. One less mouth to feed, one less person to worry about. In some cases, loved ones find comfort in knowing that a murderer will have to think about the gruesome acts they’ve committed. Regardless, deciding whether someone should be put to death depends on one thing — each individual’s opinion.

There is no right or wrong answer to the question I posed earlier. Some support the idea of Roof being put to death. Some don’t. Everyone has different values and beliefs. However, one thing I do think we all can agree on is the compassion that needs to be put forth towards the families affected. I pray the Roof’s and the victim’s families can find peace in their individual situations. We can never begin to understand your pain.