South Carolina church shooter sentencing phase begins Wednesday

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The same jury that last month unanimously found Dylann Roof guilty in the slayings of nine black parishioners at a South Carolina church is returning to court to begin contemplating his punishment.

The sentencing phase of Roof's federal trial begins Wednesday in Charleston. He could face the death penalty or life in prison.

Roof is representing himself but has said he plans to call no witnesses or introduce any evidence. His former legal team has said Roof fears embarrassing himself or his family.

Prosecutors plan to call up to 38 people related to the nine people killed and three who survived the June 2015 slaughter during Bible study at Emanuel AME Church.

After a daylong hearing Monday, a judge again found Roof competent to represent himself and stand trial for sentencing.

Roof wrote the following message in his prison journal weeks after the shooting:

"I would like to make it crystal clear. I do not regret what I did. I am not sorry. I have not shed a tear for the innocent people I killed. I do feel sorry for the innocent white children forced to live in this sick country and I do feel sorry for the innocent white people that are killed daily at the hands of the lower races. I have shed a tear of self-pity for myself. I feel pity that I had to do what I did in the first place. I feel pity that I had to give up my life because of a situation that should never have existed."

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