Attorneys looking to file civil rights suit with help of law students in George Stinney Jr. Case

Published: Aug. 26, 2016 at 10:57 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 26, 2016 at 11:34 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Attorneys are filing a civil rights suit in the case of a 14-year-old African-American boy who was executed in 1944 in the killing of two white girls in Clarendon County.

In 2014, a state judge vacated George Stinney Junior's murder conviction after finding unconstitutional violations during the trial.

It's been more than 70 years and local attorneys are seeking justice for Stinney's family with the help of Charleston School of Law Students.

William Stinney, a relative of George was there for today's announcement on the new development in the case.

"I don't think anyone in the family has given up that one day justice will be served and George's name will be cleared, the Stinney's name will be cleared," William said.

He says it is good to know his family is not forgotten after learning students from the Charleston Law School's new clinical externship program will assist attorneys in filing a civil suit to seek justice in the case.

Ed Bell is the President of the Charleston School of Law. His firm is looking to file the case.

"The George Stinney Case as most people now know is the case of the youngest person ever to be executed in our country, he was 14 years old at the time to make it even worse he was innocent of the charges he was convicted of," Bell said.

In 1944, Stinney was convicted of murdering two white girls in Alcolu. The jury deliberated 10 minutes and despite pleas from citizens, he was executed.

"Some of the things that were presented in court to prove his guilt were later totally debunked," Bell said.  "Some of the evidence used is totally false and fabricated and the real evidence to prove someone else did it, is there and was available."

Bell says they have that evidence now.

Williams says his when his family gets together for family reunions, they set aside time to go over the case.

"So that the younger generation growing up, understand from the family's point of view how it is and how we feel that he's innocent and that's waiting to be verified," Williams said.

Bell says they have some names in mind on who they think murdered the girls.

"So while we may not be able to 100 percent prove who committed the crimes, we can with very much certainty prove that George Stinney did not commit the crime," Bell said.

Williams says he is happy to hear that there is some interest in the case and that they are looking back at the facts.

"Classmates in college they Google Stinney and that's what comes up, they come they ask me about it," William said.  "You carry that around with you... I know in my heart that he was innocent."

President Bell says they hope to give the family some comfort through this suit and he also hopes their work could lead to a law helping the wrongfully convicted.

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