junius stinney

The youngest person to be executed in the USA was a 14-year-old African American didn’t get a fair trial and had to sit on a Bible in order to fit into the electric chair.

His name is George Junius Stinney, Jr. , he was 14 years, 6 months, and 5 days old when he was executed — and holds the title of being the youngest person ever executed in the United States in the 20th Century. In a South Carolina prison sixty-six years ago, guards walked the 14-year-old-boy, bible tucked under his arm, to the electric chair. Standing only 5′ 1″ and weighing a mere 95 pounds, the straps of the chair didn’t fit, and an electrode was too big for his leg. But that didn’t matter. The switch was pulled anyway and the adult sized death mask fell from George Stinney’s face. Tears streamed from his eyes. Witnesses recoiled in horror as they sat and watched the youngest person ever executed in the United States in the past century die. Stinney was accused of killing two white girls, 11 year old Betty June Binnicker and 8 year old Mary Emma Thames, by beating them with a railroad spike then dragging their bodies to a ditch near Acolu, about five miles from Manning in central South Carolina. The girls were found a day after they disappeared following a massive manhunt. Stinney was arrested a few hours later when white men in suits came and took him away. Because of the risk of a lynching, Stinney was kept at a jail 50 miles away in Columbia, SC. Stinney’s father, who had helped look for the girls, was fired immediately and ordered to leave his home and the sawmill where he worked. His family was told to leave town prior to the trial to avoid further retribution. An atmosphere of lynch mob hysteria hung over the courthouse. Without family visits, the 14 year old had to endure the trial and death alone.

On December 17, 2014, his conviction was posthumously pardoned 70 years after his execution.

Junius Stinney was the youngest person in America to be executed on death row in 1944 at age 14. He was quickly accused by the (white police) of ‘killing’ two little (white girls) with lack of evidence. His conviction and sentencing opened and closed in one day. There were no witnesses called and there was no transcript of the trial details and black people were not allowed inside the courtroom during that time. 

Junius Stinney was the youngest person in America to be executed on death row in 1944 at age 14. He was quickly accused by the (white police) of ‘killing’ two little (white girls) with lack of evidence. His conviction and sentencing opened and closed in one day. There were no witnesses called and there was no transcript of the trial details and black people were not allowed inside the courtroom during that time.