The youngest child executed in America
Two girls walked off into the woods and never came back. A 14-year-old black boy was executed for their murder three months later. This is the story of George Stinney Jr.
Given a trial that only lasted two and a half hours
On March 22, 1944, two little girls in Alcolu, South Carolina left home looking for flowers. When they turned up dead the next morning, people in the town quickly had a scapegoat in mind. Alcolu, like most towns in the South during the 1940s, was segregated and had deep racial tension. 14-year-old Stinney was arrested. Officers said he confessed to the murder of 7-year-old Mary Thames, and the rape and murder of 11-year-old Betty Binnicker. An all-white jury convicted him of 2 counts of first-degree murder.
“They deliberated for 10 minutes. And then on June 16, 1944, they executed them. This stuff is still happening. It didn't just happen in 1944, this didn't just happen with Emmett Till and, you know, and Medgar Evers then and all these others that this is still happening today. There is a pattern of systematic injustice that is going on has been going on in this country and has been hidden for a long, long time. So, the hope is in telling the story that we can we can we can kind of introduce the reality of it is we've been hiding as a country behind it for a long time,” Ray Brown, Jr -- filmmaker, 83 Days tells Brut.
Activists allege that he was railroaded by authorities. His conviction was overturned by a federal judge — in 2014. Since 1973, more than 165 people wrongfully sentenced to death have been exonerated. Over half have been black according to the DPIC. Brown says the recent killings of black teens like Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice indicate that 75 years later the criminal justice system is still not addressing the concerns of minorities.