I don’t have all the answers of how to punish those who do wrong in our society. But this story is just one reason I’m against the death penalty for all but those where there’s an evil crime against humanity and it’s been proven far beyond any doubt. Too many, over generations, have gone to their death and been proven innocent after they were already executed. This is a question that humanity must solve because too many die for crimes they never committed. It’s our biggest question, how do we punish those who are “perceived” guilty but the proof is only circumstantial? This story broke my heart and had me in tears for quite a while…
The execution of 14 yr old George Stinney Jr.
George Stinney Jr of African descent was the youngest person to be sentenced to death in the 20th century in the United States. He was only 14 years old when he was executed in an electric chair. During his trial, even on the day of his execution, he always carried a bible in his hands, claiming to be innocent.
He was accused of killing two white girls, 11-Year-old Betty, and Mary of 7, the bodies were found near the house where the teenager resided with his parents. At that time, all members of the jury were white. The trial lasted only 2 hours, and the sentence was dictated 10 minutes later. The Boy’s parents were threatened, and prevented from being present in the courtroom, and subsequently expelled from that city.
Stinney’s family, churches, and the NAACP appealed to Governor Olin D. Johnston for clemency, given the age of the boy. Others urged the governor to let the execution proceed, which he did. Johnston wrote in a response to one appeal for clemency that: “It may be interesting for you to know that Stinney killed the smaller girl to rape the larger one. Then he killed the larger girl and raped her dead body. Twenty minutes later he returned and attempted to rape her again, but her body was too cold. All of this he admitted himself.”
※※※These assertions were not supported by the medical examiner’s report.
Before the execution, George spent 81 days in prison without being able to see his parents. He was held in solitary, 80 miles from his city. He was heard alone without the presence of his parents or a lawyer.
He was electrocuted with 5,380 volts in his head, imagine all that voltage in a teenager’s head. George Stinney was executed at the Central Correctional Institution in Columbiaon 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. Stinney was made to sit on a Bible he was carrying in order to fit properly into the chair. 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, revealing the 3rd degree burns on his face and head.
70 years later, his innocence was finally proven by a judge in South Carolina. The boy was innocent, someone set it up to blame him for being black.
It was reported that there was a person that was named as being the culprit, who is now deceased. And it was said by the family that there was a deathbed confession.” It was said that the rumoured culprit came from a well-known, prominent white family. A member, or members, of that family had served on the initial coroner’s inquest jury, which had recommended that Stinney be prosecuted.