Family, supporters seek exoneration for Stinney 70 years later - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Family, supporters seek exoneration for Stinney 70 years later

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George Stinney Jr. was executed 70 years ago at the age of 14 for the deaths of two young girls. 

While the family of the girls believe justice has already been served, Stinney's family wants his name cleared. Family members and supporters gathered at the State House on Monday, but Stinney's sister is still searching for justice.

"George was my big brother," Katherine Robinson said, "and I love him a lot because I thought he was smart and he knew how to do a lot of things."

Stinney was convicted of beating Mary Emma Thames and Betty June Binnicker to death, but Robinson believes someone set Stinney up.

"A young child," Robinson said, "14 years old, under 100 pounds was incapable of committing murders of two girls. I want his name cleared."

Using a hand-drawn map of her hometown, Robinson recalls what happened when authorities arrested Stinney.

"My mother was not home," she said. "My father was not home, they went in the house and took him out and you never saw him again."

With very little evidence, no record of a confession, and less than three months from arrest to execution, Robinson believes her brother was a scapegoat.

"I couldn't understand why it was such a rushed job when they didn't have anyone really representing him," Robinson said. "No one to speak for him."

According to Robinson, concerned citizens are speaking for her brother and trying to re-open the case. 70 years later, Robinson says she will still take justice.

"All he needed was an opportunity to succeed," she said, "and that was cut off by someone who wanted something bad to happen to our family."

Family members and supporters are awaiting a decision from Circuit Court judge Carmen Mullen to decide if there will be a new trial.

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