In 1944, George Stinney Jr. became the youngest person to be executed in the US at the age of 14. He was convicted of murdering two white girls, 11-year-old Betty June Binnicker and 7-year-old Mary Emma Thames, in Alcolu, South Carolina. The bodies of Betty June and Mary Emma were found in a ditch on March 23, 1944. According to reports, the two girls had been out picking flowers and had not returned home the evening before. George’s sister, Aime, told the police the two girls rode by on their bikes the afternoon they went missing. They stopped and asked George and his sister where they could find flowers, and were not seen alive again. Police arrested George and his 17 year old brother, Johnny, for the murder of the two girls. George was questioned without his parents or legal council present, and the police coerced a confession from him by denying him food. His entire case from arrest to execution took 83 days. His trial lasted just two and a half hours, and the all-white jury returned their guilty verdict after only 10 minutes of deliberation. His attorney called no witnesses and barely provided a defense for George, and never even attempted to appeal his case. Seventy years after his execution, a judge overturned Geroge’s conviction stating he had not received a fair trial.
George’s case has recently been brought back to light by Director, Andrew Paul Howell, and Writer and Executive Producer, Ray Brown in the short film, 83 Days. We spoke with Andrew and Ray about the importance of telling George’s story, and why it is still so relevant today. Check out our interview!
To Stream 83 Days online for free starting June 16, 2020, check it out here: https://www.omnisplayer.com/artists/83-days/