South Carolina, USA - Oct 5, 2011
According to a NBC Nightly News report, an African-American boy who was executed for murder in 1944, may have been innocent.
George Stinney, Jr. was only 14 years old when he was sent to the electric chair on June 16, 1944. He was the youngest person executed in the United States in the past century.
Stinney was accused of brutally beating to death two white girls, aged 7 and 11 in the small town of Alcolu, South Carolina. The bodies of the girls who left home to pick flowers were found in a ditch down the road.
The local sheriff said Stinney confessed to the crime even though there was no written account of that or of any physical evidence. The trial records have disappeared.
Over 1,500 people packed the courtroom. All white. Blacks were not allowed in. The report states that Stinney was executed "after a hasty trial and no defense."
The trial lasted only two-and-a-half hours with the defense putting on no case. The all-white jury convicted Stinney in 10 minutes.
On the day of his execution, Stinney was too small for the electric chair and had to sit on books.
Among those seeking to clear Stinney's name is Attorney Steve McKenzie, who believes the boy's confession was coerced. McKenzie said that had it happened today, a judge would have thrown the case out.
Source: MSNBC video