The United States history as it relates to African Americans is that of a very tragic, sad, and unjust one. Yes we have made some great strides in recent years, but the ghosts of injustice continue to haunt us. One of those ghost is that of 14 year old George Stinney Jr.
George Stinney Jr. is one of those names that I will never forget as long as I live. Since I read about his story I've been haunted by it. The barbaric things that have been done to our people at the hands of people who claim to be superior to us continue to break my heart. Stinney's story is one of those heart-wrenching tales that continues to make me weep.
George Stinney Jr. was the youngest person to ever be executed in South Carolina history after he was convicted of killing two white girls in April 1944.
This past Tuesday the family of Stinney sought a new trial to vindicate their brother after arguing that he did not receive a fair trial.
George’s two sisters, Katherine Stinney-Robinson and Amie Ruffner, traveled to the Sumter, South Carolina courtroom as defense witnesses. Both took the stand, testifying their brother George was with family during the time the murders occurred.
George’s brother Charles provided video testimony from an interview he taped with lawyers back in November which was played back in the courtroom. Charles lives in Brooklyn but is too ill to travel. He said he wasn’t home when George or Amie saw the two girls, but remembers eating dinner together with them as a family the night the girls disappeared.
Circuit Judge Carmen Mullen reminded those gathered in the courtroom that the purpose of the hearing was not to determine the guilt or innocence of Stinney but whether or not he received a fair trial back in 1944.
I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to determine that Stinney Jr. didn't receive a fair trial back in 1944. We have people in 2014 who can't get a fair trial.
I will continue to hope for the best as far as this trial is concerned. I realize it won't bring the young man back, but maybe the family can get some much deserved vindication for their love one.