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George Stinney, Jr.: Black History not to be forgotten

The sister of George Stinney, Jr., a 14-year-old boy executed in South Carolina in 1944, for the murder of two white girls, said in Dec. 2014, she is “ecstatic that a judge has finally” tossed

The sister of George Stinney, Jr., a 14-year-old boy executed in South Carolina in 1944, for the murder of two white girls, said in Dec. 2014, she is “ecstatic that a judge has finally” tossed out her brother’s murder conviction, but that she was still haunted by the injustice that sent him to the electric chair, NBC News reported at the time.

George Stinney, Jr.’s family sought justice 70 years after the 14-year-old’s execution for the 1944 murder of two white girls in South Carolina; in 2014 a judge exonerated him

Three years ago: The sister of George Stinney, Jr., a 14-year-old boy executed in South Carolina in 1944, said in Dec. 2014, she is “ecstatic that a judge has finally” tossed out her brother’s murder conviction but is still haunted by the injustice that sent him to the electric chair, NBC News reported at the time.

Stinney Jr., a teen, was convicted of beating to death two young white girls after a three-hour trial and put to death three months later in the segregated South. He was so small he had to sit on a phone book in the electric chair.

NBC reported civil rights advocates and Stinney’s family spent years trying to get the case reopened, arguing his confession was coerced before Judge Carmen Mullins vacated the verdict.

“It was like a cloud just moved away,” said Stinney’s younger sister, Kathrine Robinson, then 80, a retired school-teacher from New Jersey, according to NBC.

“When we got the news, we were sitting with friends…I threw my hands up and said, ‘Thank you, Jesus!’ Someone had to be listening. It’s what we wanted for all these years.”

Another sister, Amie Ruffner, testified earlier this year that George could not have murdered the girls because he was with her at the time.

The family says police took the teen in for questioning while his parents were away from home. His defense was put on by a tax lawyer who did not appeal. An all-white jury took 10 minutes to find him guilty.

Robinson said in 2014, that even though seven decades have passed, she has clear memories of her brother as a smart, quiet boy who could make a whistle from a piece of cane and loved to draw. “I can see his little face. He had the potential to be great,” she said in 2014, adding:

“I’m happy for this day because it’s been such a long time coming, but then I cringe when I go back into that childhood and think of George back in the day. He had no one to help him. I get chills every time I think about it.”

 

 

 

Compton Herald is a digital news publication providing clear, fair and current news, information and commentary about Compton, the Los Angeles metropolitan area, Los Angeles County, California, and the world.

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