A 14-year-old African American, George Junius Stinney, Jr was the youngest person to be executed in the US in the 20th century.
Born on 21st October, 1929 in Alcolu, South Carolina South Carolina by George Stinney Sr and Aimé Stinney, George Stinney Jr was 14 years when he was convicted and faced execution by an electric chair for an unjust trial of killing two white girls of 7 (Mary Thames) and 11 years (Betty Binniker) in his hometown.
The case reopened in 2004 by a local historian, George Frierson after reading about the case on a newspaper.
His research gained attention from South Carolina lawyers, Steve McKenzie, Ray Brown, Matt Burgess and others, after efforts dedicated in making research and reviewing of historical documents, evidence and witnesses were found.
Along with the attorney representing Stinney’s family, Ray Chandler, they filed for a new trial on the case on 25th of October, 2013 ruling that he wasn’t given a fair trial.
On December 2014, his conviction was overturned after 70 years of execution.
The police that arrested George alleged that he confessed while in their custody.
There was a written record of his confession from an investigating deputy with no recorded transcript which according to George, he was starved and bribed with food to confess of him hiding a 15 inch iron in a ditch 5 ft away from the bicycles of the girls.
According to reports, Mary and Betty were last seen riding on their bicycles looking flowers. They stopped and George Stinney where they could get the flowers before the left for their hunt.
George was charged of first-degree murder among all-white jury who refused to hear his appeal.
George Stinney’s last moment was at the Central Correctional Institution, Columbia.
On 16th of June 1944, some police men extracted him from his cell and took him to the execution room. He was seated on an electric chair and his Bible was used to edge his feet as he was so small. His arms, legs, body was tied to the chair and his dad was allowed to have his final words with his son.
George Jr was asked if he has something to say, he nodded negatively and whimpered. He took a deep breath before an officer covered his mouth with a strap from the chair and George broke into tears.
He was covered with a face mask while he was sobbing, but slipped off because it did not fit small George, during the electrocution and his burnt scalp, tears on his face and saliva was revealed.
He was pronounced dead after 8 minutes of torture.
His teeth were all smoked and one eye missed, and George Stinney Jr was buried in an grave at Sumter, South Carolina.
George Frierson in an interview stated that the real culprit who is late, came from a prominent white family.