Homage to George Stinney
Homage to George Stinney
Why this petition matters
George Stinney was an African- American boy who was falsely convicted during an unfair trial in an all-white court. He was accused of murdering two white girls in his home state of South Carolina. George was confirmed guilty after only 10 minutes of trial as he was offered little defense. The sheriff claimed George had confessed to the murders even though no written or signed statement was presented. He was executed by electric chair in June 1944. George was the youngest American to be executed. The officers escorted him to the execution room where they placed him in the electric chair, using a Bible he was carrying as a booster seat because George was too small. He could only whimper as one of the officers pulled a strap from the chair and placed it over his mouth, causing George to break into tears.They then placed the face mask over his face which didn't fit him, as he continued sobbing. When the lethal electricity was applied the mask slipped off, revealing George's burned scalp and tears streaming down his face with saliva dripping from his mouth. This took place at 7:30 pm and George was declared dead after 8 minutes. His teeth were smoking and he had one eye missing. He was then buried in an unmarked grave. A re-examination of the Stinney case began in 2004, and several individuals and Northeastern University School of Law sought a judicial review. His conviction was overturned in 2014, 70 years after he was executed when a court ruled that he had not received a fair trial. His cellmate at the time came forward about the fact that George had told him he wasn't guilty but that George was forced into a confession as the officers starved him and then bribed him with food. George's siblings insisted they were with him at the time of the murder, however the court failed to provide any witnesses especially as they were of African- American decent and it was an all-white court. Frierson, a local historian who had grown up in the same town as Stinney, stated in interviews, "there has been a person that has been named as being the culprit, who is now deceased. And it was said by the family that there was a deathbed confession." The rumored culprit came from a well-known, prominent white family. Members of that family had served on the initial coroner's inquest jury, which had recommended that Stinney be prosecuted.
Although this case was 76 years ago, white privilege is still a problem to this day. There was no reason for him to be convicted especially with no evidence presented in court. There's no way to justify an execution of a child who received almost no defense. This is one of the many acts of injustice against people of colour. Ask yourself, if the suspect had been white, would this have happened? The world needs change as there comes a time where silence is betrayal. No one should have to have a disadvantage in life because of their skin colour. Black lives matter.
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