The Justice Department has announced that it will seek the death penalty against Dylan Roof.
About a year ago, Roof sat in a pew in the Emanuel AME church in Charleston, SC. After an hour in which several parishoners were holding a Bible discussion, he shot nine of them to death. The victims were all black; Roof is white. He did it out of racial hate, neither more nor less. To my knowledge, no sane person has raised any question about who committed this massacre or why.
I worked for DOJ for years, and I cannot fathom why it would take eleven months to decide on the death penalty. Being as charitable as I can, my guess is that the Department was careful to solicit the views of the victims' families, and that opinion was divided. Some very religious people oppose capital punishment under all circumstances.
Roof, however, is a walking, and conclusive, case for the death penalty. The idea that a prison sentence, regardless of its length, is proportionate to this crime is absurd.
I'm all for salvation, but salvation comes from God. The best our law can do is justice. Now, justice will have its chance.