Dylann Roof
Dylann Roof who murdered nine black church members during a Bible study in Charleston, South Carolina, was sentenced to death, Jan 10, 2016. Reuters/Sketch by Robert Maniscalco

Dylann Roof was sentenced to death for the murders of nine black church members during a Bible study in Charleston, South Carolina. On Tuesday, the same grand jury that had convicted Roof on all counts in his federal hate crimes trial decided that he should be executed.

The 22-year-old was convicted last month of 33 federal charges, including murder and hate crimes. He has also admitted to carrying out the massacre of nine black parishioners in June 2015 at the Mother Emanuel Church, which is situated just a mile from the courthouse where his first two trials took place. After he was found guilty in the hate crimes trial, he chose to defend himself during the penalty phase, during which prosecutors vehemently argued that he should be sentenced to death.

Miller Shealy, professor at the Charleston School of Law, provided some insight into Roof's procedure from now till his execution. "His actual execution is quite a ways down the road," Shealy reportedly said. Shealy also said it could take about six to eight years before Roof's execution.

He added: "There have been just three federal executions since 1988, also federal death sentences such as Roof’s are extremely rare, and executions are even less common. He will probably go to Terre Haute Indiana to a facility there, that's where most federal death penalty inmates are, over 50, awaiting their punishment."

Roof will likely be in solitary confinement while on death row in a high-security U.S. federal prison in Indiana. His case would then go to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond. It could take several months or even years before they are able to look at the case. They can take as much time they want to as their time is not limited. From here it might also go to the Supreme Court where the latter would grant cert or approval.

Roof's execution could take place at Lieber Correctional Institution in Ridgeville, South Carolina, even though he might serve his time on death row in Terre Haute, Indiana, Shealy reportedly said. If his execution is carried out in South Carolina, he would have the choice between electrocution and lethal injection.

The main drug used for lethal injections in South Carolina ran out last year. Suppliers find it difficult to supply huge amounts of this drug. Legal experts also reportedly say there is a possibility that Roof might choose not to go through the appeals process and that would mean his execution might come sooner.