George Junius Stinney, Jr., the youngest victim of the death penalty

He was tried and convicted with little to no record of
any investigation, for the murder of two White girls.
The trial and sentence of death all happened in a day.

The execution of Troy Davis this past week has everyone buzzing about the Death Penalty.  Situations like the case of 14 year old 95 lb George Junius Stinney, Jr., are the reasons why I am anti death penalty.  Yes, I am a lawyer.  Yes, I believe in punishing crime.  Yes I am a Christian. No, I do not believe in an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth...ESPECIALLY when you don't know who put the eye out to begin with.

I belive in punishment AND rehabilitation.  I don't believe in murder, I don't care who does it.  And yes, I believe that many states have murdered people. 

Why is it that countries like Libya can have their governments over thrown and crimes against humanity charges brought against leaders for doing the same thing that happens to citizens here in the United States?  A few years back the Governor of Illinois put a halt to all executions and commuted the sentences of over 100 death row inmates.  I think he got it right. 

The other week, GOP Presidential Front runner, Rick Perry, boasted about being responsible for the deaths of 235 people in the state of Texas. 

Cameron Todd Willingham, murdered by Texas
in 2004.
How could he be proud of signing a death certificate for someone like Cameron Todd Willingham, who lost his family in a fire?  The man was accused of arson with FAULTY evidence and sentenced to death.  Texas murdered Cameron Todd Willingham with erroneous forensic evidence and faulty testimony!  They put this man to death for a crime that may have never happened?!?! 
I don't get it.  How do you proudly boast about signing the order to have people killed? It is sick to me.  And no I am not soft on crime.  When I was 12 years old, my uncle was murdered in cold blood.  I saw my daddy cry for the first time at the death of his younger brother. 

I talked to my uncle for the last time on the phone the day he died.  And it has haunted me since then.  I remember his voice.  I remember what he said to me.  I remember the reaction my parents had when I said he had called.  It has never left me.  I haven't told many people this, not even them.  If it has never happened to you, then you probably wouldn't understand.  I was so angry at the person who did this.  Who took my cousin's father. My grandparents' son.  The person who made the strongest man I know cry.  But that same man, my daddy, told me these simple words: You have to forgive.

So in the same vain, I guess I have to forgive the people who held kangaroo courts and murdered George Stinney Jr and countless others.   I have to forgive a system that treated justice like a popularity contest.  I have to forgive people who believe murder is wrong, but only when it happens to them.   But that's not all I have to do.

I have to do whatever I can to make sure it does not continue.  At some point a society as advanced as ours, should stop murdering its citizens.  A country as advanced as ours should promote liberty AND JUSTICE for all. 

If you want to read more about George Stinney, Jr., and his murder by the State of South Carolina, go here: George Stinney, executed in 1944 at the age of 14



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