(CN) - Alone in an isolated jail cell in the Charleston County Jail, Dylann Roof, took pen in hand and began to put down his feelings about the mass murder he'd committed just six weeks earlier.
"I would like to make it crystal clear I do not regret what I did," Roof wrote that August day in 2015, in what prosecutors at the penalty phase of the trial describe as a white supremacist manifesto.
"I would like to make it crystal clear I do not regret what I did. I am not sorry. I have not shed a tear for the innocent people I killed," the 21-year-old wrote in a simple scrawl across white-lined paper.
"I do feel sorry for the innocent white children forced to live in this country and I do feel sorry for the innocent white people that are killed daily at the hands of the lower race," Roof continued.
"I have shed a tear of self-pity for myself. I feel pity that I had to do what I did in the first place. I feel pity that I had to give up my life because of a situation that should never have existed," he added.
If the jury of 10 women and two men who are currently weighing whether Roof should receive the death penalty for the armed assault he carried out at Charleston's Emanuel AME Church on June 17, 2015, do indeed decide that he should die for his crime, it is likely people will look back and conclude the reading of that manifesto passage went a long way toward sealing his fate.
The massacre left nine black parishioners dead and another three wounded.
As Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathan Williams read Roof's words, the defendant himself sat impassively, his eyes focused on the papers before him on the defense table.
"The defendant didn't top after shooting one person or two or four or five; he killed nine people," Williams said as he put aside Roof's writing.
"Because of the horrific nature of these acts, the death penalty is justified," Williams said, looking directly into the eyes of the jury.
The prosecution spent the balance of Wednesday, the first day of the penalty phase of Roof's trial, presenting the testimony of family and friends of victims, each of whom recalled the humanity of those who were killed, and spoke of the devastation their loss left behind. The testimony of family and friends will continue on Thursday.
The prosecution has said it will call as many as 38 witnesses to describe the pain and grief Roof's premeditated acts have caused them.
Roof was found guilty on December 15 of 33 federal charges including murder, hates crimes, firearms charges and armed obstruction of religion resulting in death. Eighteen of those charges require the same jury to decide whether he will be sentenced to death or life in prison without the possibility of parole.
In order to sentence him to death, the jurors must unanimously find that aggravating factors like premeditation and the vulnerability of his victims outweigh other factors like the defendant's mental health and expressions of remorse.
Nathan Williams' reading of Roof's jailhouse manifesto put to rest any notion that the gunman regrets his actions or is seeking any kind of repentance. Roof, who is representing himself during the penalty phase of his trial, staunchly rejected a mental health defense in his opening statement on Wednesday.