Brother of Massacre Victim: 'I Can't Live with Hate Forever'

Melvin Graham, the brother of Cynthia Hurt, spoke shortly after Dylann Roof was sentenced to death.

Charleston, SC (WLTX) - The brother of one of the victims of the Charleston Church massacre says it will be "in God's hands" if killer Dylann Roof can be forgiven. 

Melvin Graham, the brother of Cynthia Hurd, spoke to reporters late Tuesday afternoon after a jury sentenced Roof to death for the slayings that took place at Mother Emanuel AME Church on June 17, 2015.

Hurd was a 62-year-old librarian who was attending Bible study that night. 

Previous Coverage: Dylann Roof Sentenced to Death

"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 this person deserves to live when the nine others don't," Graham said in a courtyard near the federal courthouse where Roof learned his fate about an hour earlier. "How do you justify saving one life when he took nine, in such a brutal fashion, with no remorse?"

"[Roof] decided the day, the hour, the moment that my sister was going to die. And now someone is going to do the same to him. He's in God's hands now. And if he turns his life around. if he makes an humble confession to God, when he gets there, he can join my sister and the other eight in heaven. As God said I can forgive no matter what you do I will forgive you. It's up to him."

"Just like he showed no remorse here, when that time comes, if he chooses not to show any remorse, then he again will determine his sentence."

The jury took just three hours to render their verdict against Roof. 

"I don't know how you move forward," Graham said. "Cynthia's not here. A piece of our family is gone...a piece of each one of us died."

"My sister April had to go through cancer without her sister. I lost a friend and a confidant. My granddaughter won't get to brag to Aunt Cynthia that she's going to college. My other granddaughters won't get to know her."

Graham said there's he's just going to have to try to move forward, despite the pain that lingers.

What I'm going to try to do is keep my sister's name, her legacy, alive as best I can, so that she's not forgotten."

"I can't hate live with hate forever, but in due time I will heal." 

Family members will have a chance to address Roof directly Wednesday morning. Graham said he hasn't decided if he wanted to take part in that. 


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