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Dylann Roof Sentenced To Die For Charleston Church Murders

Dylann Roof In Custody

Dylann Roof, the shooter who killed nine people at a historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina in June 2015, has been sentenced to die by a Federal Court jury:

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Dylann S. Roof, the unrepentant and inscrutable white supremacist who killed nine African-American churchgoers in a brazen racial rampage almost 19 months ago, an outburst of extremist violence that shocked the nation, was condemned to death by a federal jury on Tuesday.

The jury of nine whites and three blacks, who last month found Mr. Roof guilty of 33 counts for the attack at this city’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, returned their unanimous verdict after about three hours of deliberations in the penalty phase of a heart-rending and often legally confounding trial.

Mr. Roof, who had said in a closing argument hours earlier that he could ask jurors “to give me a life sentence, but I’m not sure what good that would do,” showed no expression as Judge Richard M. Gergel of Federal District Court announced the verdict.

Melvin Graham, whose sister Cynthia Hurd, 54, a librarian, died in the attack, welcomed the decision.

“It’s a hard thing to know that someone is going to lose their life, but when you look at the totality of what happened, it’s hard to say that person deserves to live when nine others don’t,” Mr. Graham said at a news conference. “How do you justify saving one life when you took nine, and in such a brutal fashion?”

The Rev. Anthony B. Thompson, the widower of another victim, Myra Thompson, said in an interview on Tuesday that while he remained “in awe” at how much Mr. Roof enjoyed doing what he did, he would not relinquish his forgiveness. “I forgave him, and I’m not going to take that back ever,” he said.

Members of Mr. Roof’s family, who have been mostly silent since his arrest, said in a statement on Tuesday that they would “struggle as long as we live to understand why he committed this horrible attack, which caused so much pain to so many good people.”

The jury’s decision offered some vindication for the Justice Department, which sought the death penalty over the misgivings of the attack’s adult survivors and the relatives of many victims. During a two-hour closing argument on Tuesday, Julius N. Richardson, an assistant United States attorney, urged jurors to “hold this defendant fully accountable for his crimes.”

The guilt of Mr. Roof, who coolly confessed to the killings and then justified them without remorse in a jailhouse manifesto, was never in serious doubt during the first phase of the proceedings in December. And by the time jurors began their sentencing deliberations on Tuesday, it seemed inevitable that they would lean toward death, not only because of the heinous nature of the crimes but because Mr. Roof, 22, insisted on denying any psychological incapacity, called no witnesses, presented no evidence in his defense and mostly sidelined his court-appointed lawyers.

The jury’s sentencing decision effectively capped Mr. Roof’s federal trial for the killings on June 17, 2015, the Wednesday when he showed up in Emanuel’s fellowship hall and was offered a seat for Bible study by the Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney. Mr. Roof sat quietly, his head hung low, for about 40 minutes while the group considered the Gospel of Mark’s account of the Parable of the Sower.

(…)

Although Mr. Roof declined to testify or present any evidence, his trial was unusual for the jury’s ability to hear from an accused mass murderer in his own unapologetic words. They watched video of his two-hour confession and heard readings of his online essays, a journal found in his car, letters to his parents and his jailhouse manifesto.

The trial became a duel of competing narratives on the defendant, a slightly built ninth-grade dropout. In the prosecution’s depiction, Mr. Roof was the personification of evil, a racist ideologue, radicalized on the internet, who plotted an intensely premeditated assault over more than six months, waiting only until he was 21 and old enough to buy a weapon.

In his closing argument on Tuesday, Mr. Roof said, “I felt like I had to do it, and I still feel like I had to do it.”

But in the portrayal suggested by defense lawyers, Mr. Roof was a deeply disturbed delusionist who most demonstrated his incapacity by denying it. Indeed, Mr. Roof insisted on representing himself during the sentencing phase to prevent his experienced capital defense team from introducing potentially mitigating evidence about his family, educational background or mental health.

The results of at least two psychiatric evaluations have been kept under seal by Judge Gergel, who ruled Mr. Roof competent to stand trial and to represent himself.

Given the evidence against him, including his own confession and the testimony of survivors of his rampage, and the fact that he chose not to offer any evidence or testimony in defense in either the guilt or sentencing phases of this trial, the outcome of this case is hardly surprising. Many people will also point to the fact that he was representing himself throughout the trial, but it seems unlikely to me that this made much of a difference. On the question of guilt, the confession and other evidence were sufficiently clear to make any effort to undermine them seem rather fruitless. In fact, it was clear at the start of the trial that Roof’s court-appointed defense team would have handled the guilt phase of the trial in much the same way he did. They perhaps would have attempted to adduce some evidence or testimony from prosecution witnesses that they believed would have helped him in the sentencing phase, but as with the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the Boston Marathon bombing, they would have recognized that trying to delay the inevitable would only serve to annoy the jury and ruin any hope of avoiding the death penalty in the sentencing phase. The difference between how Roof handled his case and how his lawyers would have handled it would have been more evident during the sentencing phase of the case. Instead of presenting essential no case at all as Roof did and doing nothing to give the jury a reason to show mercy, Roof’s lawyers would have directed their energies toward trying to give the jury a reason to opt for life in prison without parole rather than death as the appropriate sentence for Roof. This likely would have included testimony from psychiatrists and others regarding Roof, testimony from Roof’s family members, and other evidence that might have put a seed of doubt in the mind of jurors regarding the appropriateness of a death sentence. Since Federal law requires that the jury unanimously agree on a death sentence, even convincing one juror that death wasn’t the right way to go and Roof would now be on a path that would likely lead to a lifetime locked away in one of the Federal Super-Max prisons. Would it have worked? That’s anyone guess. Roof clearly has no remorse for what he did, and the crime reverberated so strongly with the people of South Carolina that it’s hard to believe that even the best defense attorneys could have spared him his life.

As with Tsarnaev, the path from here to Roof’s execution will be a long one, and at the least it will be several years or more before we get to the point where his days are numbered. Federal law provides for a series of mandatory appeals of all death sentences whether the Defendant desires them or not. While I did not follow this case closely, though, it does not appear that there are many, if any, issues arising from it that would be a solid basis for appeal, and the same seems to apply to the sentencing phase. If there’s any single issue that stands out, it’s the fact that Roof represented himself at trial and during the sentencing phase of the trial, but it’s not likely that this would be a valid basis for appeal. Supreme Court precedent is clear that defendants have a Constitutional right to defend themselves in a criminal case regardless of whether or not it would be a wise decision. Since the court found after a hearing that Roof was sufficiently mentally competent to be tried, it had no choice but to grant his request. Additionally, as I’ve said before, the fact that Roof represented himself despite being warned on the record that this was probably not a wise decision means that he is barred as a matter of law from arguing ineffective assistance of counsel as a ground for appeal. In all likelihood, then, Roof will lose his appeals and will eventually come to an execution date, but that date is likely to be several years from now at least.

 

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. dxq says:

    I’m still opposed to the death penalty. It does no good, and occasionally kills innocent people.

    Of course, I wouldn’t shed a tear of this guy was kicked all the way down the Niesenlauf Staircase.

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  2. C. Clavin says:

    Not much to say about this other than this; the death penalty, which is extremely flawed both in theory and in practice, did nothing to deter this scumbag from killing 9 people in cold blood.
    I suppose now that we live in a Banana Republic, controlled by authoritarians, executions…many of them wrongful…will only increase.

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  3. rachel says:

    Darn. I was hoping for life in prison w/o parole so we could all get on with forgetting about this vile little creep.

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  4. Hal_10000 says:

    The death penalty is one issue where I’ve moved “left”, although I see it more as a refinement of my conservative/libertarian beliefs. I don’t trust the government with the power of life and death. If we put someone innocent in prison, we can always let him out and compensate him (as best we can). If we execute someone, there’s no taking that back.

    Roof’s guilt seems uncontested and I suppose I’m OK with this. But yeah, I’d have been OK with just throwing him a jail cell to rot for the rest of this pathetic life.

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  5. Tony W says:

    @Hal_10000: Making an evil person live, rather than giving them the freedom of death, feels like a far greater punishment to me.

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  6. Davebo says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Especially considering that even at his young age it would be cheaper to lock him up for life than go through the death penalty process.

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  7. James Pearce says:

    @rachel:

    with forgetting about this vile little creep

    Like we forgot Charles Manson?

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  8. Gavrilo says:

    @Tony W:

    Making an evil person live, rather than giving them the freedom of death, feels like a far greater punishment to me.

    Why?

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  9. Grumpy Realist says:

    @Gavrilo: finding the smarmiest, oiliest “come to JEEEzus” preacher, taping his sermons, and playing them back to Roof 24-hrs a day while off-key recordings of “It’s A Small World After All” plays incessantly in the background?

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  10. C. Clavin says:

    OT…
    I don’t know if anyone was paying attention to the Trump presser…but this country is totally fwcked with this guy running it. Lies. Misinformation. Conflicts off interest. Trampling of the 1st Amendment. Picking winners and losers. Trade tariffs. And that’s just in a short press conference.
    With a feckless press and a rubber-stamp Congress I’m not sure the Republic can survive this man and/or his sycophants. Both are clearly intellectually challenged.

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  11. CSK says:

    @Grumpy Realist:

    I’d suggest forcing him to read and re-read the collected works of every writer of African descent since Olaudah Equiano.

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  12. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Tony W: Yes, but, just for today, I’m not listening to my inner sociopath.

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  13. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Grumpy Realist: You shouldn’t be listening to your inner sociopath either.

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  14. Gavrilo says:

    @Grumpy Realist:

    Seriously though, I often see this argument from death penalty opponents, that somehow life in prison is worse than execution. If that were the case, then why do so many death row inmates fight tooth and nail to avoid being executed. I know that some of them resign to their fate and give up appeals, but most try anything and everything to avoid it. That seems like pretty compelling evidence to me that death is the stronger penalty.

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  15. gVOR08 says:

    @Gavrilo: Because if you believe in an afterlife I can see wanting to send him to hell. Although why now as opposed to later? If you don’t, a supermax for life is a pretty good approximation.

    If you are a holy roller, isn’t redemption a big deal to you? Is it up to us to remove that possibility?

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  16. gVOR08 says:

    If we execute anyone, we have to execute Roof, and I don’t think anyone will mourn him, certainly not me. That said, he believed that in some circumstances it was right to kill. We’re about to tell the world we agree.

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  17. MarkedMan says:

    I remain opposed to the death penalty, even in this instance which appears to be about the most clear cut case of guilt we can imagine, and no remorse. Added to that: people like this are too dangerous to ever let back on the streets. But what it takes to create an infrastructure for execution, and train certain individuals as executioners, and how that infrastructure of death inevitably becomes a campaign tactic, a Tough on Crime metric, a competition to see who can execute the most people. What the death penalty does to us as a society is the concern.

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  18. Gavrilo says:

    @gVOR08:

    I would suspect most death row inmates aren’t “holy rollers.” Most religions are pretty clear about what happens to your eternal soul when you murder someone. I know that some will find religion while in prison, some will not, but most will absolutely prefer a supermax for life as opposed to being strapped to a table and having poison injected into their arm.

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  19. James Pearce says:

    @Gavrilo:

    I often see this argument from death penalty opponents, that somehow life in prison is worse than execution.

    It’s a bad argument. To avoid being called pacifist wimps, they unwittingly become proponents of a dysfunctional justice system.

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  20. I´d like to see him rotting in a SuperMax cell in Colorado. Death is too good for him.

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  21. Kylopod says:

    @James Pearce:

    It’s a bad argument. To avoid being called pacifist wimps, they unwittingly become proponents of a dysfunctional justice system.

    As a death penalty opponent myself, I agree. It’s basically the argument Bill O’Reilly has used, enabling him to take the “liberal” side on this issue while preserving his macho-right cred.

    I personally think we get way too much into the question of what a convict “deserves.”

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  22. gVOR08 says:

    @Gavrilo: I wasn’t talking about the perps’ beliefs. I was talking about yours, and other citizens. Who gives a spit what the perps want?

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  23. KM says:

    The truth is there is no real way to punish someone who commits a blatantly evil act like Roof did without violating some logical principal. Society and all its trappings are about structure and rules: religion with its dogma, government with its laws and personal belief with ideology. Every single one of them cannot survive in the real world without being able to bend and change with the situation. We must compromise *somewhere* to make things work – do you kill the killers (therefore saying death is okie-dookie for the state and not you?) or do you cram them into a tiny closet, deprive them of all life’s pleasures and force them to waste their lives in the futile hope it will somehow make up for what they’ve done (therefore saying torture, sensory deprivation and imprisonment of people is okie-dookie for the state and not you)? Either way, society is admitting something you cannot do to a random person without fear of punishment is just fine for those who hold power over you to do so to “bad people”. It’s pick your poison which negative activity you think is “better” to happen to the criminal and validate.

    Humanity is not logical. LIFE is not logical. We must occasionally act in contradictory ways to our ideals in order to function. I am anti-death penalty because of the high rate of inaccuracy, the horrifying implications of getting it wrong to the innocent, the nature of my faith and the simple fact that repaying death with death makes no sense. I’m totally OK with frying Roof like a slice of baloney. I get these are contradictory statements and I’m fine with that. There’s a minuscule chance he’s not guilty, he’s pretty proud of what he’s done so there’s never going to be any reform and quite frankly, he’s going to be a martyr to his cause no matter what. Let the bastard swing.

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  24. Jack says:

    To paraphrase George Carlin, bring back beheadings. Do it on live TV during halftime of the Superbowl. Set up a guillotine which feeds into a plinko board ending in a series of numbers. There are odds placed against each number based upon their location relative to where the guillotine drops the head. Let people at home place bets on which number the head will land on–like the lotto. All profits minus the winner payouts go to the families of the victims.

    This dirtbag forfeited his life the moment he murdered innocent humans who wanted nothing but to give him a place to worship/belong.

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  25. Kylopod says:

    @Jack:

    To paraphrase George Carlin, bring back beheadings.

    Assuming you’re the same Jack from last year, it’s worth remembering that you confused a parody site with real news. Now you’re quoting a George Carlin monologue at face value. What’s next, will you start saying Jonathan Swift had a good idea when he suggested eating children?

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  26. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:
    But Jack…there were black people and you are a bigot…so why do you care?

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  27. Gavrilo says:

    @gVOR08:

    That’s why the life-in-prison-is-worse-than-the-death-penalty argument that I routinely see from death penalty opponents makes no sense. They’ve come to that conclusion based on…nothing. Certainly not the evidence demonstrating that death row inmates (you know, the ones actually facing the possibility of a needle in the arm) would almost always choose life in prison.

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  28. Pch101 says:

    @Jack:

    Comprehension ain’t one of your strong suits.

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  29. Mr. Bluster says:

    …would almost always choose life in prison.

    Confessed killer found dead at Perry Co. Jail
    A corrections officer found Dane’s body in his cell at the Perry County Jail early Friday Morning. Investigators say they don’t suspect foul play.
    Today Dane was set to be taken to Menard Correctional Center to begin serving a 60-year-sentence for the murder of 15-year Sidnee Stephens.
    http://www.kfvs12.com/story/15217434/investigation-death-of-carl-dane-perry-county-jail

    This clusterfvck was 19.

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  30. Jack says:

    @Pch101: @Kylopod:

    No I did not Quote George Carlin.

    This is George Carlin – Not only do I recommend crucifixions, I’d be in favor of bringing back beheadings! Huh? Beheadings on TV, slow-motion, instant replay?
    “And maybe you could let the heads roll down a little hill. And fall into one of five numbered holes. Let the people at home gamble on which hole the head is going to fall into. And you do it in a stadium so the mob can gamble on it too. Raise a little more money.

    Also, he said use the money to pay f the national debt.

    Thus, I am paraphrasing.

    par·a·phrase
    ˈperəˌfrāz/
    verb
    verb: paraphrase; 3rd person present: paraphrases; past tense: paraphrased; past participle: paraphrased; gerund or present participle: paraphrasing
    1.
    express the meaning of (the writer or speaker or something written or spoken) using different words, especially to achieve greater clarity.

    Again, you are wrong and have proven it yet again.

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  31. CSK says:

    @C. Clavin:

    I suspect that fairly soon Trump will ban every news agency from his press conferences and briefings but Infowars, The Gateway Pundit, Breitbart, and The Conservative Treehouse.

    The funny thing is that Andrew Breitbart thought Donald Trump was a schlocky con artist.

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  32. Kylopod says:

    @Jack: Okay, I used the word “quote” when I should have said “paraphrase.” Now it’s your turn. Look up the word irony. For some reason I have a sneakin’ hunch you’re unfamiliar with the concept.

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  33. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin: Is this you or just a close relative?

    http://thefreethoughtproject.com/cop-arrested-bestiality-video-raping-small-dog/

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  34. Jack says:

    @Kylopod: I did use the word paraphrase and you accused me of quoting.

    Comprehension must not be your strong suit.

    I am fully aware of the definition of irony.

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  35. James Pearce says:

    @CSK:

    I suspect that fairly soon Trump will ban every news agency from his press conferences and briefings but Infowars, The Gateway Pundit, Breitbart, and The Conservative Treehouse.

    More likely….CNN fires Jim Acosta and hires a Trump bootlicker to preserve their access.

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  36. Pch101 says:

    @Jack:

    You must have received advanced training in stupid.

    Carlin didn’t actually want to boil people in oil. It was a comedy routine, FFS.

    Carlin was really mocking Christians for their bloodlust. People like you.

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  37. Jack says:

    @Pch101: Sometimes people just need killin’. No one is asking you to push the button, pull a lever, or fire a bullet. Your opinion on the matter is no more or less important than mine. Christianity decries murder, what the state does is not murder. It’s not blood lust, it’s called justice.

    Roof deserves to die for what he did. Put him out of everyone’s collective misery.

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  38. Lynn says:

    @Gavrilo:
    “Making an evil person live, rather than giving them the freedom of death, feels like a far greater punishment to me.”

    “Why?”

    I’ll tell you — I used to work in a prison, and I’d rather be dead than spend any amount of time locked up in one.

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  39. bill says:

    It’s kinda funny to see the usual bleeding hearts approve this sentence- probably because he’s white and killed blacks. The only downside to the death penalty is the endless appeals..
    If they were wise they’d just toss him in gen-pop like dahmer.

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  40. Jack says:

    @bill:

    If they were wise they’d just toss him in gen-pop like dahmer.

    Let him get passed around like the b1tch he is for a month and he’ll beg to be put to death.

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  41. Lit3Bolt says:

    @Jack:

    So here’s where maybe the United States has some wisdom.

    Death is a mercy to Dylan Roof.

    He asked for it. We gave it to him. His other options are being a buttslave the rest of his life…and he knows it.

    It’s an indictment of our prison culture and our penal system. We can’t keep truly evil little flarkers like Dylan Roof safe…so the safer thing is to give him his “white power” martyrdom.

    This is the problem with our justice system. Those guilty of lessor offences get maximum sentences, while the truly evil get handled with kid gloves, their picture in the paper, lest our justice system let them off the hook on a technicality. It promises notoriety and fame. The media promotes terrorism at no cost to themselves.

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  42. James Pearce says:

    @Jack:

    No one is asking you to push the button, pull a lever, or fire a bullet.

    Unfortunately, Jack, a big idea in the world these days is the idea of collective guilt. Living in a society that tolerates capital punishment puts the blood on your hands. You don’t actually have to be the executioner.

    (Lest anyone think I personally believe this, I don’t. But I do think this idea would be defended rigorously in all kinds of contexts. On “Both sides!”)

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  43. Guarneri says:

    @C. Clavin:

    I strongly advise you hightail it to New Zealand before it’s too late.

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  44. Kylopod says:

    @Jack:

    I am fully aware of the definition of irony.

    Sure, just like a blind man who’s aware of the definition of green.

    And that isn’t an attack! My brother, whom I love dearly, has Asperger’s and a ridiculously high IQ, and he can be very insightful when discussing news or politics. But he wouldn’t understand irony if it hit him like rai-ai-ai-ain on a wedding day.

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  45. Pch101 says:

    @Jack:

    For your next trick, you’ll be using Hogan’s Heroes to analyze the Nazis. What a maroon.

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  46. C. Clavin says:

    I see the Cheet-Jebus is again choosing winners and losers.
    You Republicans are so hypocritical…if Obama pulled this shit you would be apoplectic.
    Principals? What principals?

    Buy L.L.Bean.

    The most amusing thing is going to be watching you blame Obama for all the shit Trump gets us into…because the Republican capacity for accountibility is zero.
    Pu$$ies. Try standing up for what you claim to believe for once.

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  47. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin:

    The most amusing thing is going to be watching you blame Obama for all the shit Trump gets us into…because the Republican capacity for accountibility is zero.
    Pu$$ies. Try standing up for what you claim to believe for once.

    Obama blamed every negative event that occurred for the first 7 years of his “presidency” on Bush. You know, because Democrat capacity for accountability is zero.

    You dog humping hack.

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  48. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:

    Obama blamed every negative event that occurred for the first 7 years of his “presidency” on Bush.

    If your argument is based on bullshit…then it is a bullshit argument.
    Your MO is to either lie, or resort to ad hominem attacks.
    So FOAD loser.

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  49. gVOR08 says:

    @C. Clavin:
    Kevin Drum reports that the CEOs of Bayer and Monsanto met with Trump yesterday. Think maybe it had something to do with the anti-trust review of Bayer’s buyout of Monsanto?

    Drum adds that earlier the CEO of AT&T met with Trump. AT&T is trying to buy Time Warner, which owns CNN. Shortly after the CEO and his people arrived Trump tweeted an attack on CNN. Maybe showing them who’s boss?

    Rachel Maddow (via Booman) reports that Exxon has drilling rights on more acreage in Russia than in the entire rest of the world. But they can’t drill because of sanctions put in place after Putin invaded Crimea. And now the ex (snigger) CEO of Exxon is the Sec O’State nominee.

    (Much of that acreage would be on the north shore, where they can only drill because of AGW, which Exxon has spent millions denying.)

    We are so screwed.

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  50. C. Clavin says:

    Ben Carson in his HUD confirmation hearing…

    “It will not be my intention to do anything that will benefit any American.”

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  51. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin: I repeat,

    because Democrat capacity for accountability is zero.

    You win like Charlie Sheen, dumbass.

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  52. Pch101 says:

    I’m not sure which is more entertaining: George Carlin’s capital punishment monologue or Jack’s inability to comprehend it.

    Carlin was obviously saying that the death penalty is just entertainment for idiots and that it doesn’t address real injustice. He was also quote vocal about his atheism, so his references to capital punishment serving as a sort of Christian rite are not intended to be flattering.

    __________

    …in this country, now there are alot of people who want to expand the death penalty to include drug dealers. This is really stupid. Drug dealers aren’t afraid to die. They’re already killing each other every day on the streets by the hundreds. Drive-bys, gang shootings, they’re not afraid to die. Death penalty doesn’t mean anything unless you use it on people who are afraid to die. Like the bankers who launder the drug money. The bankers, who launder, the drug money. Forget the dealers, you want to slow down that drug traffic, you got to start executing a few of these f**king bankers. White, middle class Republican bankers

    …Now, I don’t care about capital punishment one way or another because I know it doesn’t do anything. It doesn’t do anything, except maybe satisfy a kind of Biblical need for revenge…

    …the polls show the American people want capital punishment, and they want a balanced budget. And I think even in a fake democracy, people ought to get what they want once in a while. Just to feed this illusion that they’re really in charge. Let’s use capital punishment the same way we use sports and television in this country, to distract people and take their minds off how bad they’re being f**ked by the upper one percent.

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  53. C. Clavin says:

    @gVOR08:
    Republicans are going to enable this buffoon because they think they are going to get what they think they want. (we’ve seen with their complaints about their austerity economy that they don’t really want what they think they want) We know already that the only thing they are going to get is what Trump wants…which is just more and more money for Trump.
    The Orange Comb-Over goes against everything Republicans claim to stand for…which only shows that they don’t stand for anything.
    It’s really kind of pathetic to watch respectable people grovel and boot-lick.
    And then there are the rubes, like those commenting above, who simply aren’t smart enough to know any better.

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  54. Jack says:

    @Pch101: Jane you ignorant slut, I was listening to Carlin while you were still sucking on your mommas titty. I know exactly what Carlin was saying. None of that matters. Roof deserves to die. Period.

    Roof has already been sentenced to death, does the “how” really matter? To quote your preferred candidate, “What difference – at this point, what difference does it make?” I simply used a Carlin skit combined with my own spin as a way to pay the families of the victims and to suggest a method of death.

    You, as always, are overanalyzing the situation.

    If I wanted shit from you I would squeeze your head.

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  55. Kylopod says:

    @Pch101:

    I’m not sure which is more entertaining: George Carlin’s capital punishment monologue or Jack’s inability to comprehend it.

    If you look at the link I provided earlier, you’ll see that about a year and a half ago, Jack took seriously an article from the Daily Currant, a parody paper similar to The Onion. (I’m assuming it’s the same Jack, and he hasn’t denied it.) Now, in fairness, confusing parodies with the real thing isn’t something you only find on the right. (For example, you want to bet how many liberals think Sarah Palin said “I can see Russia from my house”? In my experience, a lot.) But it’s something I’ve seen a lot more of on the right. It takes a special level of detachment from reality to believe (as Jack did) that there are American Muslims forcing their religion on employees without facing any legal consequences. Or for that matter the Republican Congressman who fell for an Onion article claiming that Planned Parenthood was opening an $8 billion “abortionplex.”

    When I’ve looked at lists of times when people have been fooled by Onion pieces, it’s striking how often it comes from conservative or right-wing sources (including at least once by Fox News).

    This isn’t just a matter of Asperger’s or irony-deficiency. It has to do with being so far out of reality that satirical descriptions of things appear plausible.

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  56. C. Clavin says:

    @Pch101:
    @Jack:
    Shorter Jack….

    “I was being stupid on purpose”

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  57. Pch101 says:

    @Jack:

    Carlin was saying that people like you are idiots. Thanks for agreeing with the obvious.

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  58. Jack says:

    @Kylopod:

    Congressman who fell for an Onion article claiming that Planned Parenthood was opening an $8 billion “abortionplex.”

    Or how about the Democrat Senator from New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan, appeared to be unaware during a Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday that a Washington Post story about Russian hacking into the Vermont power grid has been completely debunked and retracted.

    “Two weeks ago The Washington Post reported that a hacking group connected with the Russian government managed to infiltrate the Burlington Electric power company in Vermont,” Hassan said to retired Marine Gen. John Kelley during his confirmation hearing to head the Department of Homeland Security.

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  59. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin: Shorter C. Clavin,

    Hey little boy, want a piece of candy?

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  60. Pch101 says:

    Jack digs a deep hole, then uses the shovel to beat hit himself in the head.

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  61. C. Clavin says:

    @C. Clavin:
    Case in point; here’s Paul Ryan defending Trump’s view of the Intelligence Community:

    I think as he gets to know our intelligence community better he’ll learn to appreciate all the great work that they do

    Now…Imagine if Obama had taken the side of an authoritarian enemy of the United States…a communist…a dictator…over our Intelligence Community. Imagine just for a minute what Republican’s reaction would be.
    These people and their sycophants are the absolute worst that the United States has to offer.

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  62. gVOR08 says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Now…Imagine if Obama…

    Imagine if Paul Ryan had a brain, or a heart. If you can.

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