'There's nothing wrong with me' - US church shooter Dylann Roof tells jurors

Roof was unanimously found guilty of hate crimes

'There's nothing wrong with me' - US church shooter Dylann Roof tells jurors

In this file photo, Dylann Storm Roof is escorted from the Sheby Police Department in Shelby, N.C. | Image: Chuck Burton AP/Press Association Images

The young man convicted of shooting nine black church members in the US has told a jury there is nothing wrong with him psychologically.

Dylann Roof was unanimously found guilty of hate crimes after the June 2015 shooting deaths of Bible study class members at Charleston's Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina.

On Wednesday, he spoke to the jury for the first time during a hearing which will help them decide whether he should be sentenced to death.

Speaking from behind a podium and occasionally looking at notes, he remained calm, saying: "I am not going to lie to you... Other than the fact that I trust people that I shouldn't and the fact that I'm probably better at constantly embarrassing myself than anyone who's ever existed, there's nothing wrong with me psychologically."

The 22-year-old did not, however, ask jurors to spare his life.

Roof's intention to represent himself at the hearing was raised by his lawyers at the end of his trial, with them saying he was worried they might present embarrassing evidence about him or his family.

But Roof told the jury he was not trying to keep secrets from them.

Prosecutors said Roof deserved the death penalty because he had chosen to target vulnerable people.

Assistant US Attorney Nathan Williams said: "This defendant's horrific acts justify the death penalty.

"He killed them because of the colour of their skin".

Mr Williams also read from a journal found in Roof's jail cell six weeks after his arrest, in which he wrote of his lack of remorse for what he had done.

"I remember how I felt when I did these things and how I knew I had to do something and then I realise it was worth it," he wrote.

"I would like to make it crystal clear: I do not regret what I did. I have not shed a tear for the innocent people I killed."

As part of the hearing, prosecutors will call up to 38 relatives of those killed, along with three people who survived the shooting.

Roof has said he does not plan on calling any witnesses.