Death penalty in South Carolina

Death penalty in South Carolina
Deputies respond to attempted jail break in Orangeburg County

SOUTH CAROLINA (WCSC) - On Wednesday the sentencing phase will begin in the federal death penalty trial for convicted AME Church shooter Dylann Roof.

Roof will represent himself during this phase of the trial.

Last month a jury found him guilty on 33 charges. Roof shot and killed nine people at Mother Emanuel in Downtown Charleston in June 2015.

The jury will decide whether to sentence Roof to death or life in prison without parole. All the jurors would have to be in favor of the death penalty for Roof to receive it.

If he does, it could take more than a decade for his execution. That's the typical waiting time for inmates in the United States.

The last execution in South Carolina was in 2011. The process can take years because there are multiple steps in a death penalty appeals process and to assure that there are no errors.

South Carolina has had a total of 43 executions. There are two options the inmates can choose from, the electric chair or lethal injection.

The lethal injection option has been around for just over 20 years. Last year, the the main drug used for lethal injections in South Carolina ran out. The drug is difficult to get from suppliers.

A Live 5 investigation revealed that high profile death penalty cases can cost taxpayers millions of dollars. A death penalty case is more expensive than a federal murder case when death is not considered.

Copyright 2017 WCSC. All Rights Reserved.