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Wednesday, 15 August 2018

DO YOU KNOW GEORGE STINNEY? A 14 YEAR OLD BOY THAT WAS EXECUTED BY AN ELECTRIC CHAIR


George Junius Stinney Jr. (October 21, 1929 – June 16, 1944), was an African-American wrongfully convicted of murder in 1944 in his home town of

Alcolu, South Carolina . He is one of the youngest persons in the United States in the 20th-century to be sentenced to death and to be executed, being 14 years old at the time of his execution.

Stinney was convicted in less than 10 minutes, during a one-day trial, by an all-white jury of the first-degree murder of two white girls: 11-year-old Betty June Binnicker and 7-year-old Mary Emma Thames. After being arrested, Stinney was said to have confessed to the crime. There was no written record of his confession apart from notes provided by an investigating deputy, and no transcript was recorded of the brief trial. He was denied appeal and executed by electric chair 

George Stinney was arrested on suspicion of murdering the girls along with his older brother Johnny. Johnny was released, George was held and not allowed to see his parents until after his trial and conviction. According to a handwritten statement, the arresting officer was H.S. Newman, a Clarendon County deputy, who stated "I arrested a boy by the name of George Stinney. He then made a confession and told me where to find a piece of iron about 15 inches were he said he put it in a ditch about six feet from the bicycle." No confession statement signed by Stinney is known to exist.

Following George's arrest, his father was fired from his job at the local sawmill, and the Stinney family had to immediately vacate the housing provided by Stinney Sr's employer. The family feared for their safety. His parents did not see George again before the trial. He had no support during his 81-day confinement and trial; he was kept at a jail in Columbia 50 miles from town because of the risk of lynching. Stinney was questioned alone, without his parents or an attorney. Although the Sixth Amendment guarantees legal counsel, it was not until 1966 that Miranda v. Arizona explicitly required representation through the course of criminal proceedings. 

The execution of George Stinney was carried out at the Central Correctional Institution in Columbia on June 16, 1944, at 7:30 p.m. Standing 5 feet 1 inch (155 cm) tall and weighing just over 90 pounds (40 kg), Stinney was so small compared to the usual adult prisoners that law officers had difficulty securing him to the frame holding the electrodes. The state's adult-sized face-mask did not fit him; as he was hit with the first 2,400- volt surge of electricity, the mask covering his face slipped off. Stinney was declared dead within four minutes of the initial electrocution. From the time of the murders until Stinney's execution, 83 days had passed.

See the video on YouTube.


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