Youngest Person Executed In 100 Years May Get New Trial

Racially charged case may be revisited

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SC Department of Archives and History / AP

Community activists are demanding a new trial for a 14-year old African-American boy who was executed in South Carolina in 1944 for the alleged murder of two young white girls.

Family of George Stinney have asked a judge to grant him a new trial, even though he’s been dead for almost 70 years, the Associated Press reports.

Stinney was convicted by an all-white jury after only ten minutes of deliberation. The boy allegedly confessed to police, although no written confession has ever been found nor did he have a lawyer present. Some reports say that police gave him ice cream during the interrogation in order to make him cooperate. Stinney was not read his Miranda rights, his parents were not allowed to see him in jail, and a lynch mob forced the family to leave town before his trial. Stinney’s court-appointed lawyer was a tax commissioner who allegedly called no defense witnesses to testify, and the trial lasted just over two and a half hours. Recently, two of Stinney’s siblings have sworn that they were with him all day when the girls were murdered.

George Frierson, a Claredon county School District board member who has been advocating for Stinney’s innocence since he first heard about the case eight years ago, says that Stinney would have been physically incapable of murdering the girls because their wounds indicated that they were inflicted by someone extremely large. At just over 5 feet tall and 90 pounds, Stinney had to have a specially fitted electric chair for his execution.