George Stinney


Growing up in South Carolina as a African American male was pretty real when I was a youth, there are couple of instances where I've ran into the Klan, Neo Nazi's and even racist cops. There were always the stories of the civil rights and other war veterans detailing how it's hard out here for men of color, but as a child there was always a story that was bought up to get me in line when I was acting a fool, and that was of George Junius Stinney, Jr.

I understand that there are people that don't know about this story or even aware that something like this actually happened in this country that is supposedly about fair justice for all. So just to give you a quick rundown, I pulled the story off of Wiki for you to become familiar with it:

"Stinney, an African-American youth from South Carolina, was convicted in a two-hour trial of the first-degree murder of two pre-teen white girls: 11-year-old Betty June Binnicker, and 8-year-old Mary Emma Thames. However, no physical evidence existed in the case, and the sole evidence against Stinney was the circumstantial fact that the girls had spoken with Stinney and his sister shortly before their murder, and the testimony of three police officers that Stinney had confessed. He was executed by electric chair. Since Stinney's conviction and execution, the question of his guilt, the validity of his confession and the judicial process leading to his execution has been criticized as "suspicious at best and a miscarriage of justice at worst."

The part of that story that you don't hear is how he was executed, a 14 year old boy, who could barely fit into the straps of the chair was executed. I was going to detail the stories of how people in the execution room were just dismayed at the very sight of what was going on. Even the Klansmen disguised as police officers were just in shock by what they just did. Even back then, in the height of racism, executing a child who didn't know anything about the world, let alone the justice system was convicted in less than two hours.

These are the stories that they don't teach you in school, these are the things that are written from the history books when they talk about how great this country is. So when they announced on December 17th, 2014 that after all of this time that his conviction was finally overturned, my only thought was, for what? This happened over seven decades ago, who is this benefitting? Is this just another ploy for people to try and ease racial tension? Is this just another way for people say, "well it’s over and done with now, so let it go"?

Honestly I don't even know, I really don't. Everyone has known since the second they sentenced him to execution that it was wrong. I mean it's a great thing that the family has finally gotten the justice that it was looking for so many years of a man that could've been a great grandfather by now. But it's just a shame that it took this long, and it's a shame that people swept it under the rug as just another headline, what's actually even worse is that they are still publicly executing our children on the streets.

I just wanted to touch on this topic because it was something that was prevalent from my childhood growing up in South Carolina, I never forgot about that because I worried most days that it could be in that chair if I ever slipped up and made a slight mistake. Just another instance on how this country is still messed up to this day and that actual change in thinking and doing is needed here.

What do you think about the overturn, is it too late or right on time? Leave a comment in the section below with your thoughts.

Until next time guys.

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