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'George Stinney, Exonerated 70 Years After Wrongful Murder Conviction As 14-Year-Old'

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'Seventy years after South Carolina executed a 14-year-old boy so small he sat on a phone book in the electric chair, a circuit court judge threw out his murder conviction.

On Wednesday morning, Judge Carmen Mullins vacated the decision against George Stinney Jr., a black teen who was convicted of beating two young white girls to death in the small town of Alcolu in 1944.

Civil rights advocates have spent years trying to get the case reopened, arguing that Stinney’s confession was coerced. At the time of his arrest, Stinney weighed just 95 pounds. Officials said Stinney had admitted beating the girls, 11 and 8 years old, with a railroad spike.

In a 2009 affidavit, Stinney’s sister said she had been with him on the day of the murders and he could not have committed them.

Stinney was put on trial and then executed within three months of the killings. His trial lasted three hours, and a jury of 12 white men took 10 minutes to find him guilty.

He is often cited as the youngest person executed in the U.S. in the 20th century. At the time of the crime, 14 was the legal age of criminal responsibility in the state.’

NBC News

Man, I remember first reading about this young boy and almost crying, just look at him, how young he is to have his life snatched away from him like that. His eyes as well, ah man.

Brittany Cooper Ponders “Where Do We Go From Here?”

How is it that 50,000 people showed up to march in the streets of New York City to protest racialized police brutality in the same week that white confidence in the police reached a new record?

What kind of America is this? How are white people so oblivious to black pain and frustration? How are they so lacking in empathy?

I think I have to conclude that they aren’t oblivious. They are no more oblivious to black pain than slave masters were when they ripped families apart. They are no more oblivious than the white families I see on those old lynching postcards, hoisting children on their shoulders, smiling for a better look at the camera.

I know these are extreme examples. But this is my point. We are told to believe that white America has learned the lesson of these past eras. We are told to believe that the majority of the country understands these acts to be unconscionable. We are told that white barbarism is a thing of the past. And yet, what we have seen over the last few months is a case study in 21st century white barbarism. Alongside a procession of lynched black bodies, we have witnessed sham grand jury proceedings that sound exactly like the sham trials that used to precede lynchings. 

And much like our white forebears reassured “outside agitators” that all was well, most of white America moves along thinking not only that all is well, but that this is how things should be. They ignore the way that our current system of mass incarceration is simply a remix of the convict leasing system that grew out of slavery.  They ignore the increasing wealth gap between white families and black families. They are oblivious to all the ways the old playbook has been not discarded but simply updated for a new era…

(read more: Salon.com)

Do you know how they brainwash people in this country? They repeat something over and over. And that’s what we do in this country. Owning things is good. More money is good. More property is good. More commercialism is good. More is good. More is good. We repeat it—and have it repeated to us—over and over until nobody bothers to even think otherwise. The average person is so fogged up by all of this, he has no perspective on what’s really important anymore.
—  Mitch Albom
The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum - even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.
—  Noam Chomsky