In March 1944, police came looking for George Stinney. At the time of the arrest, his parents weren't home, and his sister was hiding in the chicken coop while the officers handcuffed George and his brother.
Two young white girls were found dead, beaten over the head with a railroad spike and dumped in a ditch. Stinney and his little sister were said to be the last ones to see them alive. Authorities later released his older brother, but kept George in their custody.
George was questioned in a small room without his parents or an attorney present. The police claimed that he confessed to killing 11 year old Betty Binnicker and 8 year old Mary Emma Thames. His trial lasted two hours, and his jury deliberation only lasted 10 minutes. Stinney was convicted of killing the two girls, and sentenced to death by the electric chair.
On June 16th, 1944, South Carolina took the life of an innocent 14 year old boy, making him the youngest person in the 20th century to be executed. Stinney was barely 5 feet tall and wasn't even 100 pounds yet. The electric chair straps were too big for his little body. Newspapers at the time reported that Stinney had to sit on books to reach the headpiece. When the switch was flipped, the convulsions knocked down the large mask, exposing his tearful face to the crowd.
In 2014, Stinney's family demanded a new retrial. 70 years later, the courts deemed Stinney innocent.