CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Family members of the Charleston 9 reacted to the jury’s decision Tuesday to sentence Dylann Roof to death.
“I’m happy he got a fair trial,” LaToya Sanders said. “I’m also happy he got the death penalty. But, we still don’t have our family members.”
Sanders relatives include her grand-aunt Susie Jackson and her cousin Tywanza Sanders -- two of the Charleston 9 shot to death inside Emanuel AME Church July 2015.
A jury recommended Tuesday afternoon their killer, Roof, to be put to death.
“They both (Jackson and Sanders) would say, ‘Let him live,’” LaToya Sanders said. “My aunt Susie she was all for life, all for happiness, all for forgiveness."
Roof again showed no remorse for the killings Tuesday.
Sanders told Channel 9 from her Rock Hill home she that she didn't expect anything different from him.
“I didn’t expect him to cry. I didn’t expect him to apologize. I felt that what he did, he meant to do it,” Sanders said.
Other relatives of those killed agreed that justice was served.
“When my sister was killed, this community pulled together in a way that I had never seen before,” Melvin Graham, brother of slain Cynthia Hurd, said.
Hurd’s other brother, former North Carolina Sen. Malcolm Graham, echoed that statement.
“There’s no room in a civilized society, or in America’s smallest jail cell for hatred, racism or discrimination,” the former senator said.
As for Sanders and her son, the family is doing their best to move forward. At times, they still wear pins that picture their loved ones on them.
Sanders said she and others close to her also now hold a stronger appreciation for life.
“I feel better than I did yesterday,” Sanders said. “Better than I did a year and a half ago.”
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