George Stinney. ©4WardEver CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

It was in 1944. George Junius Stinney Jr, is the youngest death row inmate in modern US history. At only 14 years old, the young African American boy was sentenced for the double murders of two young white girls, in South Carolina.

There was nothing to link the child to the murders, other than the fact he was the last to see them. He was the only suspect, no witnesses were called. The jury, made up of 12 white men, delivers its verdict : he is condemned to death, by the electric chair. The execution took place on June 16, 1944, three months after the events. With his Bible in his hand, the child walked down death row. Some people presented what they had seen. The teenager was so small that they struggled to tie him to the electric chair. So they placed his Bible under his buttocks to raise him. The mask that was supposed to cover his face was also too big. He fell during the electrocution, exposing his face writhing in pain. 

70 years later, a judge overturned the court decision, and the child was cleared in 2014.

Gabrielle Barents