World Bulletin / News Desk
The family of a 14-year-old African-American boy who was executed by electric chair in the US state of South Carolina 70 years ago are renewing their appeal, in what they claim was a major miscarriage of justice.
George Stinney was sentenced to death in 1944 after apparently confessing to the murder of two girls. Betty Binnicker, 11, and Mary Thames, 7 were traveling through the countryside on their bikes when they came across George Stinney and his sister Amie while they were grazing their cow. They were the last people to see the two girls alive, as they were later found dead nearby.
George’s sister Amie, now 77, still denies her brother’s responsibility for the murders, saying that the girls went their separate way from them after asking a question. She insists that her brother was forced to confess to police, who was denied access to a lawyer and to his parents. She believes that he was used as a scapegoat for the crime.
His trial, which only lasted three hours, had an all-white jury. Following his sentencing, a mob of white men arrived at the local jail with the intention of lynching the 14-year-old. One of the jury members was the owner of the land on which the bodies of the girls were found.
George’s father, who was among those who were helping in the search for the girls after they went missing, was later fired from his job and forced to leave town.
84 days later he was electrocuted to death in a horrendous manner. Witnesses said that his convulsions from the 2,400 volts caused his mask to fall off, revealing the horrified look in his face.
Today, despite the fact that George’s siblings still say he was at home at the time of the murders, the state of South Carolina still recognizes George as a murderer. George’s former cell-mate has also testified that he denied killing the girls a number of times.
On Tuesday, the Sumter County Judicial Centre in South Carolina decided to review the case to see whether or not a fair trial was given, but this does not mean his status would be changed.Last Mod: 23 Ocak 2014, 12:44