08-17-2017  8:29 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Join a Book Club at Your Neighborhood Library

At North Portland Library, Pageturners Black Voices focuses on books written by and about African and African American authors ...

Meeting of the NE Community Development Oversight Committee

The fourth meeting will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 23 ...

Health Share of Oregon Invests $3M in Community Health Workers

Investment will improve health care access, quality and outcomes for Oregonians who face barriers to care ...

'Eclipse Hate' Rally in Solidarity with Charlottesville

Portland’s Resistance to hold peaceful rally and march Aug. 18 ...

Celebrate Literacy at N. Portland Library’s Children’s Book Fair

Book fair runs from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. on Aug. 26 ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

SEIU’s President: No Place for White Supremacists in the White House

Mary Kay Henry makes following statement on Trump’s remarks after violence in Charlottesville ...

It’s Time to Show “Middle Neighborhoods” Love, Before It’s too Late

Middle Neighborhoods, School Rehabilitation and Food Insecurity are key action items for the policy agenda of the CBC. ...

Despite Unequal Treatment, Black Women Will Rise

NNPA Newswire Columnist Julianne Malveaux talks about Black Women’s Equal Pay Day ...

PCC Cascade President on Free Tuition Program

Any student who qualifies for the Oregon Promise can attend most in-state community colleges tuition-free ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

The men of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. lead a crowd of people in prayer outside the Emanuel AME Church, after a memorial for the nine people killed by Dylann Roof in Charleston, S.C.

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Dylann Roof said he wasn't sure "what good it would do" to ask jurors for life in prison instead of execution, showing no remorse for killing nine black church members during a Bible study.

In his final argument to jurors, Roof, a 22-year-old white man, said he felt like he had to carry out the slayings on June 17, 2015.

"I still feel like I had to do it," Roof said. Holding on to his racist beliefs, he said: "Anyone who hates anything in their mind has a good reason for it."

Jurors will begin deliberations Tuesday afternoon and their decision must be unanimous. If they are unable to agree, a life sentence is automatically imposed.

Every juror looked directly at Roof as he spoke to them for about five minutes. A few nodded as he reminded them that they said during jury selection they could fairly weigh the factors about whether he should get life in prison or the death penalty. He noted only one of them had to disagree.

Roof said prosecutors showed hatred by seeking the death penalty against him.

Prosecutors said Roof deserved execution because he went to the historic Emanuel AME Church with a gun and a "hateful heart."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Richardson said the 12 people Roof targeted were God-fearing church members who opened the door for a white stranger with a smile. Three people survived.

"They welcomed a 13th person that night ... with a kind word, a Bible, a handout and a chair," Richardson said during his closing argument. "He had come with a hateful heart and a Glock .45."

Richardson reminded jurors about each one of the victims and the bloody crime scene that Roof left behind in the church's lower level. Roof sat with the Bible study group for about 45 minutes, and during the final prayer — when everyone's eyes were closed — he started firing. He stood over some of the fallen victims, shooting them again as they lay on the floor, the prosecutor said.

The same jury that's considering Roof's fate convicted him last month of all 33 federal charges he faced, including hate crimes. Roof did not explain his actions to jurors, but in his FBI confession he said he hoped to bring back segregation or start a race war.

Nearly two dozen friends and relatives of the victims testified during the sentencing phase of the trial. They share cherished memories and opined about a future without a mother, father, sister or brother. They shed tears and their voices shook, but none of them said whether Roof should face the death penalty.

Richardson reviewed their testimony during final arguments and recalled Jennifer Pinckney's remarks about her husband, Clementa, as he sang goofy songs and watched cartoons with their young daughters in his spare time. He was the church pastor and a state senator.

Roof acted as his own attorney and did not question any witnesses or put up any evidence.

___

Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP . Read more of her work at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/meg-kinnard/ .

Follow Jeffrey Collins on Twitter at http://twitter.com/JSCollinsAP. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/jeffrey-collins.

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