Roof had indicated that, although he did not plan to call any witnesses in his defense, that he would offer closing arguments. In a three-minute opening statement, Roof asked the jury to ignore his trial lawyer’s attempts to portray him as mentally ill.
“There is nothing wrong with me psychologically,” Roof told jurors.
The defendant said little during the penalty phase, but filed a motion last week in which he said that it was “not fair” for the prosecution to give jurors so much testimony regarding his victims and the effect their deaths had on loved ones.
"If I don't present any mitigation evidence, the victim impact evidence will take over the whole sentencing trial and guarantee that I get the death penalty," Roof wrote in the motion, according to the Washington Post.
Jurors also heard Roof’s own words through excerpts from a jailhouse journal he kept after his arrest, in which he outlined his racist views and admitted that he had no remorse for the murders.
"I would like to make it crystal clear," Roof wrote. "I do not regret what I did. I am not sorry. I have not shed a tear for the innocent people I killed."
The Washington Post reported that Roof's journal targeted not only black people, but also Hispanic people, who he wrote "introduce crime and violence" to the United States; Jewish people, who he said are "undoubtedly our enemies;" and homosexuality, which he described as "nothing more than a sick fetish."
The journal indicated that Roof believed his actions were necessary.
"I would rather live imprisoned knowing I took action for my race than to live with the torture of sitting idle," Roof wrote, according to the Post. "It isn't up to me anymore. I did what I could do. I've done all I can do. I did what I thought would make the biggest wave, and now the fate of our race sits in the hands of my brothers who continue to live freely."
The same jurors deciding Roof’s fate convicted him last month after about two hours of deliberation.