UPDATED (December 17, 2014): Seventy years after 14-year-old George Stinney became the youngest person in American history to be executed, he was “exonerated” today by a South Carolina judge who vacated his conviction.
Judge Carmen T. Mullen wrote that her court “finds fundamental, Constitutional violations of due process exist in the 1944 prosecution of George Stinney, Jr. and hereby vacates the judgment.” That is, Mullen did not believe Stinney received a fair trial.
Judge Mullen wrote:
From time to time we are called to look back to examine our still-recent history and correct injustice where possible. I can think of no greater injustice than a violation of one’s constitutional rights, which has been proven to me in this case by a preponderance of the evidence standard.
Stinney’s family and its lawyers had sought a new trial for what they believed to be an egregious miscarriage of justice. Today they can at least take small victory in the fact that his name has been cleared.
Read more at Raw Story.
On June 16th, 1944, the United States put to rest the youngest person ever to be subjected to the death penalty.
George Junius Stinney Jr. was only 14 when he was arrested and charged for allegedly murdering an 8 and an 11-year -old duo of white girls with a large railroad spike.
The sheriff at the time said Stinney admitted to the killings, but there is only his word — no written record of the confession has been found. A lawyer with the case figures threats of mob violence and not being able to see his parents rattled the seventh-grader.
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