The problem is that George Stinney was electrocuted at the age of 14 in Georgia on June 16, 1944.
George Stinney was so small that the straps on the electric chair couldn't be tightened enough to secure his hands and legs.
Stinney, who by now you probably realize was black, was convicted of the first-degree murder of two white girls: 11-year-old Betty June Binnicker, and 8-year-old Mary Emma Thames. No physical evidence existed in the case, and the sole evidence against Stinney was the circumstantial fact the girls had spoken with Stinney and his sister shortly before their murder, and his confession, which was obtained after the police bought him an ice cream cone.
Following Stinney's arrest, Stinney's father was fired from his job. Stinney's parents and siblings were given the choice of leaving town or being lynched. The family was forced to flee, leaving George Stinney with no support during his 81-day confinement and trial.
The entire Stinney trial, including jury selection, took one day. Stinney's court-appointed defense counsel was a tax commissioner campaigning for election to local political office. Stinney's lawyer did not challenge the three police officers who testified Stinney confessed to the two murders, despite this being the only evidence presented by the prosecution. The police did not make written records of Stinney's purported confession, and at trial, Stinney denied confessing to the crime.
The jury at Stinney's trial consisted entirely of white people; due to racial segregation, no African-Americans were present in the courtroom. Stinney's counsel did not call any witnesses. Trial presentation lasted two-and-a-half hours. The jury took ten minutes to deliberate, after which they returned with a guilty verdict.
Lawyers have now filed a motion for a new trial which a circuit judge is considering.
We don't about you, but we keep thinking of that poor small child, his family forced out of town, surrounded by unfriendly white faces, being led in and out of court, and then a few months later, being led down some hallway in some prison, strapped into a chair, and electrocuted.
Yeah, this is some great system of jurisprudence we have. Something to brag about.
The next time someone tells you that no innocent person has ever been executed in the United States, mention to them that George Stinney never really had a chance to prove his innocence.
See you in court.