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SUMTER – The siblings of a 14-year-old Alcolu boy executed for the murder of two young girls in 1944 say their brother was quiet and introspective, too small to hurt anyone. But relatives and friends of the young girls who believe George Stinney Jr. did indeed kill the young girls in March 1944 near Green Hill Missionary Baptist Church maintain he was strong for his 95-pound frame and that he liked to fight.
Both groups met in a Sumter courtroom this week as defense attorneys for Stinney sought a motion for a new trial for the boy, who was executed only 78 days after his arrest, and just days after his conviction by an all-white Clarendon County jury.
“The standing issue for this hearing is what in fact can I do?” said 14th Circuit Court Judge Carmen T. Mullen. “This is a tragic case, where we see that not much was done for a child whose life was in the balance. Our purpose here this wee is to determine whether or not he received a fair trial, not to determine his guilt or innocence. I hope this hearing will help us focus on making the best decision in the interest of justice.”
See Thursday's Manning Times for more.