(CNN) — Almost 70 years ago, South Carolina electrocuted 14-year-old George Stinney, the youngest person to be executed by an American state since the 1800s. Family members today say he\’s innocent, and while they can\’t bring him back, they want his name cleared.
A black teen in the Jim Crow South, Stinney was accused of murdering two white girls, ages 7 and 11, as they hunted for wildflowers in Alcolu, about 50 miles southeast of Columbia.
Stinney, according to police, confessed to the crime. No witness or evidence that might vindicate him was presented during a trial that was over in fewer than three hours. An all-white jury convicted him in a flash, 10 minutes, and he was sentenced to \”be electrocuted, until your body be dead in accordance with law. And may God have mercy on your soul,\” court documents say.
Fewer than three months after the girls\’ deaths, Stinney was escorted to an electric chair built for much larger defendants at a Columbia penitentiary. The chair\’s