Dylann Roof Jury Selection Revealed As Trial Begins

Photo by Randall Hill - Pool/Getty Images
Two black women, eight white women, one white man and a black man will decide his fate.

The federal trial Dylann Roof began Wednesday with a heart wrenching beginning that also revealed the racial and gender makeup of the jury: two black women, eight white women, one white man and a black man.

Roof is accused of killing nine black parishioners at the Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. He entered the Bible study class at Mother Emanuel on June 17, 2015 before opening fire on attendees while shouting racial insults.

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He faces 33 charges in a death penalty federal trial, hate crimes, murder, attempted murder and obstruction of religion. He has also been charged in a state murder case, which also carries the death penalty and is scheduled follow this trial.

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Two white women, two white men, a black woman and a black man were picked as alternates, the pool report said.

The makeup of the potential 3,000 jurors who were initially summoned for jury duty were 23 percent black and 73 percent white, the court announced back in September.

“Of the demographics represented in the jury pool, the largest group consists of white women, who account for slightly more than one-third of prospective jurors, followed by white men (30 percent) and black women (13 percent),” the Charleston City Paper reported.

In opening statements Wednesday, Assistant US Attorney Jay Richardson called Roof "cold and calculating" in planning his attack.

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Filed under: News, Racism