George Stinney was executed by the state of South Carolina at the age of... 14. He is the youngest person ever executed by the USA.
And they found him guilty in 10 minutes. His family was not permitted to attend his trial. (yes, you read that right)
From Huffington Post:
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Supporters of a 14-year-old black boy executed in 1944 for killing two white girls are asking a South Carolina judge to take the unheard-of move of granting him a new trial in hopes he will be cleared of the charges.Arguments for a retrial were finally heard on Feb. 21st. Several radio shows besides ours spotlighted the case, as did CNN. Various local news reports have said today that these hearings have so far been "inconclusive"--so still more hearings seem to be on the schedule. (About what? Is there any question that this verdict should be overturned?)
George Stinney was convicted on a shaky confession in a segregated society that wanted revenge for the beating deaths of two girls, ages 11 and 7, according to the lawsuit filed last month on Stinney's behalf in Clarendon County.
The request for a new trial has an uphill climb. The judge may refuse to hear it at all, since the punishment was already carried out. Also, South Carolina has strict rules for introducing new evidence after a trial is complete, requiring the information to have been impossible to discover before the trial and likely to change the results, said Kenneth Gaines, a professor at the University of South Carolina's law school.
Many have wondered: what good will this do? George is gone and won't be brought back. But clearing his name is very important to his family, especially his sister Aimee Ruffner.
And a 14-year-old? Should never be executed. Never.
Unaccountably, there are still those diehards who believe the execution was just.
I will be reporting on this as it unfolds. Let's hope South Carolina does the right thing, for once.