In 1944, on either March 24 or 25, the bodies of two young girls, Betty June Binniker (1933–1944), age 11, and Mary Emma Thames, age 7, both white, were discovered in Alcolu, South Carolina. The girls had gone missing the day prior, as they never returned home the previous night. Binniker had died as the result of head trauma, her skull having been fractured. Police arrested 14-year-old George Stinney as a suspect. They stated that he had confessed to the crime while under custody. There was a written record of his confession in the form of notes provided by an investigating deputy.
No transcript was recorded of the brief trial. Stinney was convicted of first-degree murder of the two girls in less than 10 minutes by an all-white jury, during a two hour trial. The court refused to hear his appeal. He was executed that year, still age 14, by electric chair.
In the decades since Stinney's conviction and execution, the question of his guilt, the validity of his reported confession, and the judicial process leading to his execution have been extensively criticized.
A group of lawyers and activists investigated the Stinney case on behalf of his family. In 2013, the family petitioned for a new trial. On December 17, 2014, his conviction was posthumously vacated 70 years after his execution, because the circuit court judge ruled that he had not been given a fair trial; he had no effective defense representation and his Sixth Amendment rights had been violated. The judgment noted that while Stinney could have committed the crime, the prosecution and trial were fundamentally flawed. Judge Mullen ruled that his confession was likely coerced and thus inadmissible. She also found that the execution of a 14-year-old constituted "cruel and unusual punishment." Source Wikipedia. Ponchai "You know what they call capital punishment ? If you ain't got capital, you get punished..Defense attorneys, Poor folks always get the bad ones. Everybody gets the ice, except rich folks get it in the summer"