George Junius Stinney Jr born October 21, 1929, died by execution June 16, 1944. He is the youngest American to be sentenced to death by execution.
Stinney was only 14 years old when he was executed in an electric chair. He was accused of killing two white girls, 11 years old Betty June Binnicker and 7 years old Mary Emma Thelmas.
Meanwhile, in 1944, Stinney lived with his parents and siblings in Alcolu, Clarendon County, South Carolina. His father, George Stinney Sr, worked at the town’s sawmill and they resided in the company housing.
Alcolu was a small woking-class mill town, where white and black people were separated by railroad track. As at then, the white and black people never had a really close relationship.
The bodies of the two white girl were found in a ditch on March 23, 1944 on the black people side of Alcolu during a search after they had not returned home that night.
Meanwhile, the girls were last seen riding their bicycles looking for flowers. Report shows they had been beaten and killed by a weapon. The girls had earlier on asked Stinney and his sister ‘if they knew where they can find passionflower.’
At that time, Stinney and his elder brother Jonny was arrested, but Jonny was later released and Stinney was held. His parents were not allowed to see him until after his trial and conviction.
The trial lasted for 2 hours only and the sentenced was declared 10 minutes later. His parents were prevented from been present in the court room.
George Stinney was made to confess to crime he didn’t commit and he was sentenced to death. No confession statement signed by Stinney existed. Meanwhile, many claimed confession statement was written against him.
Before the execution, Stinney spent 80 days in prison without been allowed to meet his parents. At that time, all members of the jury were whites.
He was electrocuted with 5380 VOLTS in his head. His father was allowed to see him in the execution room to say his last words before he was executed.
70 years later, in 2014, his innocence was proven by a judge in south Carolina. George Stinney Jr was proven innocent 70 years later.