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George Stinney, 14, the Youngest Executed U.S. Death Row Inmate

The debate over the execution of Troy Davis has brought to light the case of a 14-year-old boy executed in 1944 for allegedly murdering two white girls.

In the wake of the execution of 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.

Jamie Cox October 07, 2011 at 01:13 PM
Thanks for informing the Cascade community about this case. I look forward to all updates.
Janita Poe October 07, 2011 at 02:54 PM
Thanks, Jamie. We will continue to share news about both death penalty and prison reform programs
M Jernice Flowers October 08, 2011 at 12:12 AM
i'm so outrage at the discovery of this! which so proves that we need to re-do out judical system... A Lillte BOY! young BOY 66 yrs ago!... was KILLED for something he didNOT do!... May the Lawyer(s) involued and the Rt-now DistAtty..find the direct edvidence to correct this tragedy....itwas said when DianeSwayer aired this the other day the yong George was at home with his family....Let's KEEP rebuking! and pulling down! the stronghold of, The Jim CROW Spirit in the name of JESUS!....
But wait, October 08, 2011 at 05:27 PM
You know what this proves? That we need to re-do our grammar system and teaching of the English language. While Michelle Jernice Flowers just looks like your typical angry uneducated internet poster, the author (and editor mind you) couldn't notice or realize you wrote sparred instead of spared? This is why amateur journalism sites like this will never fully take off... just a bunch of wanna be's hoping they will break some huge story so they can get that once in a lifetime job at the (insert famous publication here) so they can actually make some real money, all the while not taking the time to review simple mistakes that, if caught, would give them a little more respect.
Janita Poe October 08, 2011 at 09:43 PM
@But wait--> As is the case with most news sites, we do not edit our comments page and, frankly, are much more interested in a reader's point than whether their message included a typo. But since you seem so concerned with grammar and such, please review your own copy, my friend. You have many more errors than Michelle. For one, it's "Internet," not "internet." And, I’m afraid there is no such thing as a "wanna be's," sweetie… if you want to use the colloquial term, then it's "wannabe" or "wannabes.” I’m sure you have other errors in your copy but I don’t have time for this. In closing, please refrain from insulting and attacking people you do not know. And, for the record, I'm an award-winning journalist who left a top position at one of the top newspapers in the country [Chicago Tribune inserted here] to return to Atlanta to be closer to family.
Olu Fasugbe October 09, 2011 at 09:02 AM
@But wait: Do you have anything to say to Janita Poe? I guess not! We have a very troubling story here that is crying for justice, mind you. In the midst of these, all you have to contribute is to attack ad-hominem commentators on this site. I still weep for George Stinney since I learned of his gruesome fate about a week ago. I can't help but wonder, where was justice, the above-and beyond-of-all-vices ( I am talking of the supreme being), when this little boy clutched the bible to his chest as he walked to his frightening execution! Where was that swift justice?! Where! I know, being a believer in Christ, I shouldn't be questioning God, but then, why do I have my mind to think?
Janita Poe October 09, 2011 at 09:34 AM
Thanks, Olu! I don't think I have ever "come after" anyone on this site (even the mildly-racist comments); but attacking another reader for a typo and then attacking this entire news site was just way too low. Peace to you and to all of our wonderful readers!!
Rebecca Robinson October 09, 2011 at 11:24 AM
Kudos to you Janita & Cascade Patch for always keeping us informed and encouraging the exchange of ideas.
Rebecca Robinson October 09, 2011 at 11:29 AM
and shame on you "but wait" for not even having the courage to use your name. If you have something that you believe needs to be said, stand behind it! Don't cower behind a pen name (and an uncreative pen name at that).
Big John October 09, 2011 at 03:28 PM
Thank you for this wonderful site Janita.
Janita Poe October 09, 2011 at 04:19 PM
Thanks Rebecca!!! It's amazing how some people really believe they are smarter and wiser than others....
Big John October 09, 2011 at 05:07 PM
We cannot control life's complicated circumstances but we can choose to make life less complicated. We cannot control the haters of this world, but we can control the hating within our minds. Too often we try to choose and control things we cannot. Too seldom we choose to control that we can - our attitude.
David love April 04, 2012 at 08:31 PM
I'm still praying for that young man that lost his life for nothing my heart go out to him and his famliy my u rest in peace.
Mike Sanders December 28, 2012 at 06:54 AM
Actually George Stinney Jr is not the youngest person to be legally executed. That would be Hannah Ocurish who was just 12 years old when a Connecticut jury found her guilty of the murder of a 6 year old little girl who apparently snitched on her when she stole some strawberries. She was hanged on 12/20/1786.
Ante April 26, 2013 at 09:34 PM
Wow how sad 14 years old on death row
shawana cheatum May 11, 2013 at 03:06 AM
It is sad to hear what happened to this young child because of the color of his skin. I hope and pray that he is exonerated. May he rest in peace.

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