In the world of crime, the highest price that can be paid is one’s own life.
Whether for theft of property or theft of life, murder, and other personhood eliminations at unmatched extremes, the severest punishment in the land through all time has been the death penalty.
It is a punishment that has existed for a long as the concept of a justice system has. But justice is not always right. Sometimes the punishment falls onto the wrong person.
When it’s a fine or jail time, it’s upsetting, but the presence of potential innocence has detracted from the use of capital punishment in all but the most serious cases.
Sometimes being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and looking like the wrong kind of person to the wrong set of people, can put an innocent life under the threat of death.
And that’s exactly what happened to young George Stinney, the youngest person ever legally executed in America.
10 Short Life
George Junius Stinney Jr. was born in 1929. He was African-American, living in an era post-slavery but before the Civil Rights movement in Alcolu, South Carolina.
The town was segregated, divided between White and Black families on either side of the railroad. It was a lumber town, primarily, but George’s family were meager farmers.
He would walk the cows through grazing after school, and his little sister Aime would sometimes be with him. He was only 14 when he was blamed for the murder of two local white girls and killed for it.
9 More Than Two Victims
The murder victims at the time were Betty June Binnicker and Mary Emma Thames.
They were out looking for tart summer fruits while traveling along the railroad on their bike when they met George and Aime and asked if they had seen any flowers.
Then they went on their way. This is where all of the agreed-upon facts end. After they left, they never came home. They were found the next day beaten to death with a railroad spike and left in a ditch along the track.