ALCOLU, SC (WIS) –
Seventy years after he was convicted of murder and executed by the state of South Carolina, a 14-year-old Alcolu boy was exonerated by a circuit court judge on Wednesday.
Judge Carmen Mullins vacated the decision against George Stinney, who was convicted of beating Mary Emma Thames and Betty June Binnicker to death in 1944.
Judge Mullins’ ruling effectively clears Stinney’s name.
“Given the particularized circumstances of Stinney’s case, I find by a preponderance of the evidence standard, that a violation of the Defendant’s procedural due process rights tainted his prosecution,” Mullins said in the ruling.
Stinney’s family and judicial advocates have spent the past several years doggedly trying to get the case re-opened because they believe Stinney was forced into a confession by police.
Stinney’s trial lasted about 3 hours. According to reports, the defense presented no witnesses, no physical evidence, and did not file an appeal. It took a jury of 12 white men 10 minutes to decide Stinney’s fate.
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