Posthumous Retrial Possible for Black Teen Executed for Murder in 1944

Lawyers for George Stinney, the 14-year-old black boy executed for murdering two white girls in South Carolina, want a retrial. 

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George Stinney

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In 1944 a 95-pound 14-year-old boy was strapped to an electric chair in South Carolina for murdering two little girls, ages 7 and 11. He is the youngest person ever to be executed in the United States in the last 100 years, The Telegraph reports.

George Stinney, an African American, was accused of killing two white girls who had gone to look for wildflowers in their then-segregated town. The girls were found in a ditch. They had been beaten to death across the head.

George reportedly confessed and was convicted by an all-white jury, all in less than 24 hours. Eighty-four days after the murders, with no appeals, he was electrocuted.

The request for a retrial comes with new sworn statements from two of his siblings, who say he was with them the day the girls were killed.

Annie Ruffner, Stinney’s sister, who was 7 when the crime occurred, said that she and her brother were grazing their cow when the girls asked them where they could find flowers. “It was strange to see them in our area because white people stayed on their side of Alcolu and we knew our place,” Ruffner said, adding that her brother told them that he didn’t know, and the girls subsequently left.

“Why was George Stinney electrocuted? The state can't produce any paperwork to justify why he was,” George Frierson, a local school board member campaigning for the retrial, told the Associated Press, according to The Telegraph.

Indeed. Since then, the alleged confession and transcript from the trial have vanished.

Read more at The Telegraph.

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