In the wake of the execution of Troy Davis last month at the Jackson prison about a mile south of this community, some activists are seeking to clear the name of the youngest person ever to receive the death penalty in the United States: George Stinney, Jr.
On June 16, 1944, Stinney, 14, was executed in South Carolina in connection with the brutal murders if two white girls, eight and 11, who disappeared after going out to pick flowers in Alcolu, S.C.
According to a story on the National Public Radio website, a search party was set up, and their bodies were then found. They'd been brutally killed, apparently head wounds.
The NPR story reports that, for reasons that aren't exactly clear, Stinney became a suspect, and even though he himself was only 14 years old, he became the focus of this, and a lynch mob formed.
Stinney was sparred the mob but not a lengthy police interrogation in which legend has it that officers offered him ice cream if he confessed to the double murder.
In the end, Stinney confessed, though he was a part of the original community search crew that looked for the girls and no physical evidence linking him to the murder, according to a story in The Grio.
After a speedy trial with a defense attorney trying to get into politics before a packed courtroom of some 1,500 whites (blacks were not allowed in) an all-white jury deliberated for 10 minutes, found the boy guilty and sentenced him to death.
This week, Stinney's brother, Charles, spoke to The Grio and NewsOne about the case. The stories report that South Carolina attorney Steve McKenzie is pushing the Clarendon District Attorney to re-open the case and exonerate Stinney.
Stay tuned to Cascade Patch for more on this case and more death penalty reform news.