It took 10 minutes to convict 14-year-old George Stinney Jr. It took 70 years after his execution to exonerate him.
Being known for a historic event isn’t always a good thing and learning about this story literally made me feel nauseous and angry at the same time knowing this is just one of many instances that shows the failure of a system and the mockery of the claim of ‘Justice for all’.
Welcome to Day 9!
In March of 1944, two young white girls had been found murdered, badly beaten and left near some railroad tracks in rural South Carolina and a 14 year-old named George Stinney Jr. supposedly was the last to have seen them alive. The police arrived at his house, handcuffed him and took him to the police station where he was placed him inside a small room and questioned without his parents being present and without an attorney, where he allegedly signed a ‘confessions’.
A black boy in the deep Jim Crow South? He didn’t stand a chance.
Supposedly George said his motive for killing the young girls was that he wanted to have sex with one of them and with his ‘confession’ was quickly rushed to trial. After a 2-hour trial and only 10 minutes of deliberation, George Stinney was convicted of murder by a jury of 12 white men on April 24th and was sentenced to death by electrocution. Just 84 days after the death of the girls on March 24, 1944, he became the youngest person in modern times to be put to death.
I can think of no greater injustice than the violation of one’s Constitutional rights which has been proven to me in this case…
There were so many instances of gross mishandling with this case starting the moment George was picked up from his house, the police misconduct in questioning a young child without the presence of parents (he was not allowed to see them until the trial), and the swiftness of a decision for a murder conviction are deplorable. In addition, learning that records relating to the case, specifically the ‘confession’ letter that seemed to have disappeared had all been taken into consideration by Circuit Judge Carmen Mullen leading to her decision to vacate the conviction on December 17, 2014, over 70 years after Stinney’s execution.
Remember George Stinney.