Supporters of Executed Teen Hold Rally

Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- It's been 70 years since a black 14-year-old boy was executed here in the Midlands. He was the youngest person executed in the United States since the 1800's.

George Stinney Jr. was convicted of the murders of two white girls--Mary Emma Thames and Betty June Binncker--in Alcolu in 1944. A judge is currently considering arguments to determine the fairness of his day-long trial. Previous Coverage:Judge Considering Stinney Case

Supporters held a rally Monday hoping to keep the story alive.

"Today, this isn't about white and black, this is about unity and togetherness," said Sonya Eaddy Williamson, a supporter of the Stinney family and a catalyst behind some of the information about the case that has surfaced recently.

"There is no victory in this case because George is not here," said Jennifer Bowers Olin, another supporter who helped organize the rally that was held in front of the African-American Monument at the State House.

Stinney, Jr. was executed June 16, 1944. The two victims were found in a watery-ditch in the small Clarendon County town of Alcolu in March of the same year.

After being questioned without an attorney or his parents, Stinney, Jr. confessed to the crimes. His trial lasted just one day.

He was sent to the electric chair just 83 days after his arrest.

Myckenzie Horton, a junior at Columbia's Ridge View High School was one of a group of students who have been learning about Stinney Jr.'s trial in attendance Monday. They started studying the case in January, she said.

"I just think that, honestly, it's really empowering to know that you can make a difference," Horton said. "My group is doing a documentary, and then a few other groups, we have a website made, we have a Twitter page, Instagram. "We have another video that people are doing."

Horton said ultimately they are hoping the information they present will become part of what people refer to when learning about the case.

Katherine Robinson, 79, is one of Stinney's sisters. She was in town Monday from New Jersey to see the showing of support at the State House.

Robinson said she's hoping 70 years later, people's opinions about her brother have changed.

"It was a happy home, just one moment in time when this happened, it just tore us down," Robinson said. "I'm just hoping something will come out of it so that they will see that this young man could not have done this deed that they say he did.

"It's impossible," she said.

An attorney who filed legal documents on behalf of the state's NAACP chapter said lengthy legal filings make the judge's decision difficult, but said a decision could come at any moment.


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