George Stinney, a Black Boy Convicted and Executed in 1944 Finally Gets Delayed Justice

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It is said that "better late than never". George Junius Stinney,Jr., a 14-year-old Black boy convicted and executed in South Carolina in 1944 for murders he did not commit was finally cleared in a new ruling by Judge Carmen Mullen. In her ruling, Judge Carmer Mullen said that the prosecution at the time failed on all accounts, denying the constitutional rights to the boy and rushing to condemn him without clear evidences. 

In 1944, George Stinney, then a 14-year-old, 5 feet 2 inches(1.57 m), 92 pounds (43 kg) , was accused of killing two white girls, age 7 and 11. After only three months of trial, without evidence, the boy was condemned to death by entirely white jury, without the possibility of appeal, and executed.

The evidence presented by the prosecution was that the boy and his sister had spoken to the white girls, a few days earlier. South Carolina was the heartland of racist segregation against Blacks, known as Jim Crow system.

One man, civil rights activist and local historian George Frieson, researched the case after reading an article about it. He fought over the years to overturn the 70-year old ruling, working with lawyers Ray Chandler, Steve McKenzie, and Matt Burgers. He was delighted after the ruling, saying that: "I'am going to get on my knees, thank the Lord Almighty for being so good and making sure justice prevailed."

If he were alive, he would be 84 years old. The prosecutor and perhpas most, if not all,  of jurors who  convicted him and those who executed him are no longer alive.  By getting justice, even delayed, the martyrized boy memory has outlived his executioners.