SC

1944 South Carolina Murder Conviction Vacated

“JIM CROW” EXECUTION DEEMED A MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE

By FITSNEWS || A seventy-year-old murder conviction has been vacated by a South Carolina circuit court judge … thanks to a 600-year-old writ advanced by a Charleston School of Law (CSOL) professor.

The only problem?  The alleged murderer – 14-year-old George J. Stinney, Jr. – has already been executed for the crime.

On March 23, 1944, eleven-year-old Betty June Binnicker and eight-year-old Mary Emma Thames were savagely killed in the small Clarendon County mill town of Alcolu, S.C. – their skulls bashed in and their bodies left to rot in a ditch.   The girls had been riding their bikes – looking for flowers to pick.

Stinney – who was arrested within hours of the bodies being discovered – is said to have confessed to the crimes shortly after being apprehended.

Stinney’s family members have long maintained he was innocent, though, arguing his confession was the product of South Carolina’s Jim Crow system of “justice.”

That confession, incidentally, was the only evidence offered against Stinney – who was convicted on April 24 after an all-white jury deliberated for less than minutes.  Despite pleas from citizens for a pardon, he was executed on June 16, 1944 – making him the youngest person executed in the United States in the last century.

“Stinney was convicted after a trial of only two hours in which no witnesses were called in his defense and his attorneys did not conduct cross examination of state witnesses,” CSOL professor Miller Shealy said.

Shealy was asked to consult on the case by CSOL graduate Matthew Burgess of Manning, S.C.

GEORGE STINNEY, JR.
GEORGE STINNEY, JR.

In reviewing the material – specifically a request from Shealy to grant a writ of coram nobis  in the case – S.C. circuit court judge Carmen T. Mullen found that “fundamental, Constitutional violations of due process exist in the 1944 prosecution of George Stinney, Jr.”

Accordingly she granted the writ and vacated Stinney’s conviction.

Coram nobis is Latin for “before us,” and refers to evidence being brought before a court indicating a fundamental error in a prior judgment.

Stinney’s guilt or innocence was not addressed by Mullen’s ruling, however she did determine his coerced confession was likely “due to the power differential between his position as a 14-year-old black male apprehended and questioned by white, uniformed law enforcement in a small, segregated mill town in South Carolina.”

Obviously we have no clue whether Stinney was innocent or guilty.  His family members maintain a “deathbed confession” by a member of a prominent local white family disclosed the identity of the real murderer – and that a member of this individual’s family was on the initial coroner’s inquest jury that recommended Stinney be prosecuted for the crimes.

At the end of the day, only God knows what really happened …

We do know Stinney was so short he had to use a Bible as his booster seat when he was strapped into the electric chair at the old Central Correctional Institution in downtown Columbia, S.C. – and that his “death mask” fell off during the electrocution because it was designed to fit adult prisoners.  We also know his father was fired from his job and the family was forced to flee the town for fear of being lynched.

South Carolina no longer executes minors.  In fact the state has not performed an execution since May 2011.

Former S.C. Rep. Bakari Sellers – son of Palmetto State civil rights pioneer Cleveland Sellers – applauded the ruling.

“Anytime we can balance the scales of justice – even seventy years later – we must,” he said.  “Judge Mullen has to be applauded for not doing what was easy but doing what’s right.”

We agree … there is no more fundamental right than due process and equal justice under the law.

STINNEY RULING (.pdf)

***

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96 comments

Godslayer December 18, 2014 at 11:00 am

If South Carolina can no longer be proud of having executed a 14-year-old boy on flimsy evidence, what does it have to be proud of?

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Flip Coscoe December 18, 2014 at 11:23 am

Planned Parenthood executes unborn children everyday in SC. You can be proud of that liberal loser.

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Smirks December 18, 2014 at 12:01 pm

And you execute brain cells everyday on this site. :)

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vicupstate December 18, 2014 at 12:29 pm

Why is it that unborn children are the only ones you care about?

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Flip Coscoe December 18, 2014 at 12:37 pm

??? I am advocating federal money already allocated for women who are victims of domestic violence.

Why don’t you want to help women?

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mamatiger92 December 18, 2014 at 1:21 pm

Once they are actually born, they are on their own.

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grandtangosuglydog December 18, 2014 at 3:23 pm

it all boils down to flips anal sex obsession..think about it and it will make sense..not pleasant but it will make sense.

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E Norma Scok December 18, 2014 at 11:07 am

Well, I bet Stinney is happy the conviction was vacated.

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Dapandico December 18, 2014 at 12:57 pm

He can now get on with his life.

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B Gentry December 19, 2014 at 8:50 am

lol. Y’all are terrible.

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Anonymous February 9, 2023 at 12:41 am

Prejudice bastard rot in hell for such a stupid comment,you racist hate filled bastards all should go to hell!

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tomstickler December 18, 2014 at 11:56 am

The wheels of justice grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly fine.

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Squishy123 December 18, 2014 at 12:01 pm

When do the riots start?

If the kid had been white Sellers wouldn’t have given a shit about the case.

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Smirks December 18, 2014 at 12:04 pm

If the kid had been white, Sellers’ reaction to it wouldn’t have been printed.

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SCBlueWoman December 18, 2014 at 12:16 pm

If the kid had been white, he would have at least had a chance in the court system.

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The Colonel December 18, 2014 at 1:19 pm

Funny there are a lot of white faces on this list of death row inmates who have been exonerated… http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/node/4900#1

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Squishy123 December 18, 2014 at 1:21 pm

Show me proof where he didn’t do it and I’ll listen.

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vicupstate December 18, 2014 at 12:32 pm

What you it take for YOU to give a shit?

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Nigglet got a free thrill ride December 18, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Why should we give a shit? If we sent more nigglets to ride the lightning we would have less crime.

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SCBlueWoman December 18, 2014 at 12:47 pm

And the racists emerge.

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The Colonel December 18, 2014 at 1:33 pm

I believe that would be “racist emerges”.

SCBlueWoman December 18, 2014 at 3:12 pm

There are more than one posting on this page…. Racists.

The Colonel December 18, 2014 at 3:30 pm

So far the only real racist I see “gentleman” posting as “nigglet got a free ride”

easterndumbfuckistan December 18, 2014 at 3:34 pm

I think that one is what we call a troll out here on the internet.

The Colonel December 18, 2014 at 3:36 pm

I was just going to go with “clown” but that would have been a disservice to clowns. Troll’s probably the best description.

SCBlueWoman December 18, 2014 at 3:46 pm

As long as people are racists I will cry racists.

Limbaughsaphatkhunt December 18, 2014 at 6:30 pm

You will go hoarse in this state.

Welfare Queen December 18, 2014 at 9:04 pm

Every time you cry, a welfare baby goes hungry. Please stop crying.

The Colonel December 19, 2014 at 11:08 am

Okay SC , now you can go with racists…

grandtangosuglydog December 18, 2014 at 1:30 pm

why change from the flip coscoe name to this..everyone already thinks you are a total fucking idiot full of hate..so why change your name now?

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Flip Coscoe December 18, 2014 at 1:44 pm

Wasn’t me stalker. Why don’t you put flipcoscoe in your s/n like you did with GT’s?
You have shown yourself to be a lying POS on this site. I disagree with many on here but occasionally they put forward an opinion that is worthy of consideration. You however are fucking illiterate on EVERY subject.
Only thing you have contributed is showing us all how a dangerous,psychotic fool operates without his medication.
Other than that I bet you are a really sweet homo.
Have a nice day. :-)

grandtangosuglydog December 18, 2014 at 1:49 pm

ahhh your obsessive homosexual infatuation rears its ugly head again..once again you show your true colors. Show me one instance where i have lied or be proven a liar yourself..just one asshat. Just one..of course you will fade off and go to yet another name without showing any proof..we all now you are a liar and full of racist hate. You must have sooo many friends…said no one ever.
Ill wait..just one example of me telling a lie..or shut the fuck up and go back to cutting eyeholes in your white sheets for Saturday night.

Flip Coscoe December 18, 2014 at 1:51 pm

Not bad Boz.

grandtangosuglydog December 18, 2014 at 1:53 pm

still waiting on your proof i lied..or are you going to admit all you do is dream of homosexual activity and hope to get attention no matter how bad you look doing it..what is it? and for the love of God come out of the closet already..your anger is so self directed it can only mean one thing..you crave balls on the chin..admit it.

grandtangosuglydog December 18, 2014 at 2:06 pm

i am sorry Flip… Mommy took my computer away for a week and i just got it back. ..i forgot to take my meds and drank a 40 oz beer for breakfast… my EBT card has .92 cents left and I can’t afford Sniker bites. you are brilliant..

grandtangosuglydog December 18, 2014 at 3:16 pm

so flip..instead of providing any proof i have ever lied, therefore proving he is, therefor a liar..instead resorts to taking my name and making some half assed attempt at ..what i dont know..humor? Boy (as soon as i say boy his eyes roll back and he imagines..well you guessed it..probably some anal sex..)you just had your ass handed to you so sit down and shut the fuck up..remember there are still white sheets to cut eye holes..want to look good for this weeks cross burnin.

Squishy123 December 18, 2014 at 1:22 pm

Hasn’t happened yet.

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mamatiger92 December 18, 2014 at 1:20 pm

If the kid had been white, there would’ve been no case.

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guest December 18, 2014 at 12:06 pm

Any idea if Stephen King was aware of the murders and the boy’s execution when he wrote The Green Mile?

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SCBlueWoman December 18, 2014 at 12:15 pm

Poor kid. Didn’t stand a chance in this racist state. Not much has changed.

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Fecal Matters December 18, 2014 at 1:13 pm

Idiot dolt, you should move.

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SCBlueWoman December 18, 2014 at 2:51 pm

Idiot dolt, you should grow a mind and a conscience.

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Fecal Matters December 18, 2014 at 8:59 pm

You should grow a set and move away from SC if you hate it so much.

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B Gentry December 19, 2014 at 8:54 am

Proverbs calls us to take the log out of our own eye before the splinter of our neighbor. Then again, socialist commie liberal democrats don’t REALLY believe in morality… They just tout it to get votes. Good thing it doesn’t work in this state; especially when your gubernatorial candidate calls our Governor a whore.

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SCBlueWoman December 19, 2014 at 9:45 am

Fascist liver mush GOP. One day this state will wake up to the realities. I hope to live to see it.

Squishy123 December 18, 2014 at 1:21 pm

Defending a kid who admitted to murdering two girls. It hasn’t been confirmed that he “didn’t do it” either. So right now it’s still on the side that he was guilty and justly punished.

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SCBlueWoman December 18, 2014 at 2:52 pm

They told him that if he admitted it that they would let him go home. He weighed less than 90 pounds and you are saying he killed two girls. You are a mental case too.

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Squishy123 December 18, 2014 at 3:24 pm

I hear he did go home, in a box.

How much did the 8 year old and 11 year old girls weigh? Heads crushed, are you implying a 14 year old, 90 pound boy can’t throw a rock or swing a big stick?

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SCBlueWoman December 18, 2014 at 3:21 pm

The Stinney case has been regarded as controversial because it has not really satisfactorily been solved and because the investigations and judicial process showed severe shortcomings.

In this context, 1988, the case gave rise to the novel “Carolina Skeletons” by David Stout. 1991, it became the base for the film “Carolina Skeletons” (also “The End of Silence”) directed by John Erman, featuring Kenny Blank (who changed his name to Kenn Michael later) as Linus Bragg, the 14 year old protagonist that is meant for George Stinney Jr.

It was later found that a beam with which the two girls had been killed weighed over twenty pounds. It was ruled that George wasn’t able to lift the beam, let alone swing it hard enough to kill the two girls.

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David December 18, 2014 at 6:19 pm

That sounds a lot like OJs gloves,,,,

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Squishy123 December 18, 2014 at 6:30 pm

So what you’re saying is Hollywood produces facts.

Was the beam swung or dropped? I’m betting that a 90 pound 14 year old could easily pick up a 20 pound beam and drop it. I find it very difficult to believe a 14 year old couldn’t pick up 25% of his body weight. If you’re 200 pounds, could you pick up 50 pounds?

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Fecal Matters December 18, 2014 at 9:01 pm

I’m 170 and can dead lift over 200 pounds.

Fecal Matters December 18, 2014 at 9:02 pm

^^^ Can’t wait to be called racist for being able to dead lift more than I weigh. Oh, and I drink black coffee.

Debbie Fowles December 18, 2014 at 9:18 pm

are you serious?? This is about the facts, not some Hollywood movie. murder weapon was not just `dropped` on their head. It would have had to be swung at some force to cause the injuries and trauma described in the autopsy of those girls. Not to mention the distance those 2 bodies were dragged after. There was no evidence at all to suggest he was guilty. Not even any confession until after he was drilled by the police, personally i dont buy it. The whole trial was a sham.
**

Squishy123 December 18, 2014 at 10:41 pm

Not if he had knocked them down and possibly knocked them out first by some other means.

SCBlueWoman December 18, 2014 at 12:19 pm

The booster seat was a stack of telephone books. He was a very small 14 year old. The whole incident reeks.

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Botched Execution..... December 18, 2014 at 12:41 pm

There were eye-witness accounts that the death mask covering his face was way too big because it was designed for an adult. The entire execution was botched…the state paper wrote a sensational story about it back in 1944. This is the youngest person ever executed in the Unites States. This state has a lot of “first” to be ashamed of.

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Nigglet got a free thrill ride December 18, 2014 at 12:59 pm

This scene always makes me laugh. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIC-qBLDWUg

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Sailor December 18, 2014 at 1:32 pm

The I guess you’re just a sick fuck!

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Squishy123 December 18, 2014 at 5:15 pm

I think they ran that on ComedyCentral last week.

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Fecal Matters December 22, 2014 at 4:59 pm

The casting director needs to be fired for hiring an 8 year old for a part playing a 14 year old.

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David December 18, 2014 at 3:56 pm

Are there any pictures of the murdered girls? Seems only fair that we should see what he did to the young girls.

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Flip Coscoe December 18, 2014 at 1:00 pm

I don’t know. Seems like partial-birth abortion (they stick a needle in the back of the bables skull) is worse than what this poor kid went thru.

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nitrat December 18, 2014 at 1:32 pm

I just wish that slut had aborted you.

BTW, I realize that’s you Big T, Grand Tango, etc and so on.

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Flip Coscoe December 18, 2014 at 1:49 pm

Dang ‘nitrat’. You and your boyfriend have a fight today?

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Squishy123 December 18, 2014 at 1:23 pm

Well maybe he shouldn’t have murdered the two girls and admitted to it. There has been no substantial proof that he didn’t do it.

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grandtangosuglydog December 18, 2014 at 1:32 pm

because of course its not like there is any history in the south of Black people being treated unfairly by the police..not a single case..right?

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Squishy123 December 18, 2014 at 2:09 pm

Come up with one shred of proof that he didn’t do it and you’ll have my attention.

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grandtangosuglydag December 18, 2014 at 2:18 pm

proof?…liberal liars like me don’t need proof…we just make it up as we go like my daddy obama…he didn’t do it…sharpton told me…no farakahn told me…gentle giant did,t steal them cigars either…

grandtangosuglydog December 18, 2014 at 3:17 pm

so still trying to use my name because you cant come up with any proof..how pathetic..shows i won and you lost. You are probably use to that by now but im laughin just the same.

grandtangosuglydog December 18, 2014 at 3:17 pm

and you upvoted your own comment..LOLOLOL true sign of a loser huh sandi/pogo/grand asshat/flip or whatever you call yourself today.

grandtangosuglydog December 18, 2014 at 3:21 pm

ahh poor tiny flip must yuse my name to post now cause when asked for proof of one of his usual idiotic statements he went silent, but still has time to post as me..i win again and you..well you are use to losing but doesnt it ever get old?

Ol' Sparky December 18, 2014 at 12:25 pm

So are they going to ungoodify him?

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Ol' Sparky December 18, 2014 at 12:28 pm

I don’t know how to run in reverse? Do I have to pull the lightning back out? This is all too confusing. I’m 102 years old and not really cut out for this resurrection stuff, despite Larry Gene Bell calling me the true blue oak. I’m just an old chair and I don’t know what to do.

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Depends?! December 18, 2014 at 2:26 pm

Is it time for you to go to the old chair nursing home?

I believe it’s called, “Garage Sale Estates”

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Ol' Sparky December 18, 2014 at 2:37 pm Reply
Ol' Sparky December 18, 2014 at 12:40 pm

That picture is not me, that’s Texas’ Ol’ Sparky. This is me in my younger days at CCI.

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Ol' Sparky December 18, 2014 at 12:40 pm Reply
Bible Thumper December 18, 2014 at 12:44 pm

“Eleven-year-old Betty June Binnicker and eight-year-old Mary Emma Thames were… looking for flowers to pick.”

They asked some black children where they might find some May Pops. In March they would be looking for the flowers and not the fruit. As an adult I learned that these were Passion flowers and native to the South East. They have beautiful flowers. There are elongated whitish petals topped with purple and white variegated fringe and then five large yellow pollen producing stamen. I would pick the flowers and pull off some stamen and fringe and petals to make little boys and girls. The girls would have long purple hair and the boys short.

May Pops tended to grow in cleared but uncultivated areas. Along the road near fences where the mower couldn’t reach, the edge of fields. They grow low to the ground, but would climb shrubbery and fences. They were not admired by many adults, children loved them.

The fruit are a olive green and about the size of a large egg. Easy picking if climbing a fence. We would collect a bucket of them and throw them against a hard surface and because they were covered with a pity peel like an orange but hollow inside, they would make a loud pop. We would also throw them at each other like grenades.

Last summer I found some at the edge of a construction site. It awaken old memories of childhood. I decided to Google search and discovered for the first time that they were passion fruit and edible. It is understandable why I didn’t know that as a child. You have to wait until they ripen. The thick skin rind will get thin, turn yellow-brown and wrinkle. You would think it has rotted. Inside, there are no sections only small cloudy white cells, when unripe, each has a seed. As it ripens the cells turn clear then bright yellow. The seeds turn black and brown. The fruit has a delicious punchy orange flavor. Passion fruit juice is the main ingredient of Hawaiian punch. I managed to get about one and a half quarts of juice out of a five gallon bucket of fruit. It was too difficult to remove the seeds. Just scupping out the fruit into my mouth and spitting out the seeds is best. I wish I knew that as a child. I wouldn’t of wasted them as grenades.

I also only recently learned of there connection to the deaths of these two little girls. I was raised about 15 miles from Alcolu twenty years after. I never heard the story of the girls, the young man and the flowers. So sad.

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mamatiger92 December 18, 2014 at 1:18 pm

Absolutely gut-wrenching.

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9" December 18, 2014 at 1:45 pm

That chair looks uncomfortable.

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Squishy123 December 18, 2014 at 4:12 pm

That’s okay, you won’t be sitting in it long.

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David December 18, 2014 at 2:41 pm

I read an article somewhere that said the kid used to be responsible for taking care of the family cow. When he would take the cow out to pasture he often yelled obscenities at people walking by. I think he did it. But that doesn’t matter to the blacks, laws don’t apply to them,.. Kids kill kids quite frequently. And blacks commit murder at the drop of a hat.

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Taos December 18, 2014 at 3:38 pm

Well, from everything I’ve read, it seems as if the killer was executed. Look, hate the death penalty if you must, but really, don’t allow for a probable killer to be made into a saint. From what I understand, he confessed first to his grandmom (who turned him in), that he was known as a bully around town, that he was the last to see them alive, and, that he’d made death threats the day before to others. Given that era, that’s a pretty strong and compelling case. Yes, I don’t know whether he did it; however, neither do the a-holes who are talking about the wonderful child that he was.

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nitrat December 18, 2014 at 5:42 pm

Your police raid outrage of the day from Radley Balko’s blog The Watch. The common factor is lazy, ass covering cops and prosecutors:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2014/12/18/your-police-raid-outrage-of-the-day/

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Limbaughsaphatkhunt December 18, 2014 at 6:27 pm

Excellent decision….unfortunately 70 years too late. Tis but one of a million festering boils on the ass of S.C. that has been lanced. Only 999,999 to go.

Of course, this will bring out gutter snipe racists to spew their hate and somehow turn a bright spot in SC’s otherwise dismal existence into a Fox News talking point so gentlemen…do your worst.

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myboy December 18, 2014 at 7:17 pm

Bless my britches, bless my soul, there goes a walking Tootsie Roll!

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myboy December 18, 2014 at 7:22 pm

Neiman Marcus has cowboy boots this Christmas made of human skin for $10,000. Also available in black for $5.99.

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myboy December 18, 2014 at 7:24 pm

Deceased blacks are worth more than deceased whites in Florida. You can skin ’em and make wetsuits.

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myboy December 18, 2014 at 7:35 pm

May I frisk you for silverware?

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myboy December 18, 2014 at 7:37 pm

Why do blacks keep chickens in the yard? To teach their kids to walk.

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myboy December 18, 2014 at 9:29 pm

How do you babysit six black toddlers? Wet their lips and stick them to the wall….Or, put velcro on the ceiling and let them jump on the bed.

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Stuart Walker December 18, 2014 at 8:18 pm

I’m from England and came across this story, following the verdict of the judge being reported. I was utterly horrified by what I read, and looked into it further, hoping to find some redeeming feature.
I have to say I found no such thing, and I am completely appalled that a country I hold in high regard, sharing a common legal system with us could have perpetrated such an act which bears more than a passing resemblance to the type of mob justice we see now in the Middle East.
While the relatives of the original murdered girls are entitled to their say, I can only conclude that the judge’s verdict is a long overdue response to a repugnant stain on how the South carried out it’s affairs a couple of generations ago. I sincerely hope that all can agree how horrific this was and move on to a better place

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Bible Thumper December 19, 2014 at 8:07 pm

I hold Great Britain in high regard in spite of its utterly horrific behavior in India and elsewhere a couple of generations ago.

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myboy December 19, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Stuart, I hope you find a “redeeming feature” in this……FUCK OFF, you stupid ass, bleeding heart, Brit. Mind your own business, and keep your insipid nose out of the “South”. A lot of southern boys died making sure your grandparents didn’t have to learn to speak German. “I’m from England”…….why did you come here if England is so terrific, just, and fair, you shitbag?

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Guido Sarducci December 19, 2014 at 10:41 am

Oops!

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