If you read the verdict and what the prosecution has stated, he was not.
What the court stated was that the work of his defense was average common found as it is even today when it comes to non-violent cases where a number of probation violations have piled up because the probation requirements makes it impossible for anyone to pass them.
And when the death penalty is in play the defense should be better than average.
I have already written a blog entry about how it is better to raise your child to a world where it is not common to take responsibility if you have the money than use the justice system and social system to help you raising your child choosing the path of right and justice.
But another case has recently been in the media. An actor who have been during the ordinary thing in his childhood acting out, got a sentence, found God and done good wants his felony conviction to disappear. When he was a poor teenager he got an average defense in a hate crime case where a person lost his eye or at least it was what the prosecution let the media know back then. Now the victim has gone public stating that his injuries were not a result of the crime. I would not go so far to claim that money has been involved to alter the story.
But what I am claiming is that this case once again is a question about money. Had the actor not done well he would have tried to make the old conviction go away. Now he has the lawyers to go through with such a case. Should he be pardoned because he has become rich?
The George Stinney case is important for us even today as people are released every year from the death row because some groups with money find the cases where an average defense has been given the defendant in a death penalty case. The question is how any society can secure a defendant a better defense in cases where they death penalty can come in play. Should it be a part of the plea bargain process? “If you don’t take this deal, we will seek the death penalty and we will provide you with better lawyers as consequence”
Court systems are often a question about money. In Denmark it is civil cases where rich corporations, insurance companies and the public sector can dry ordinary citizens out so they as well have to give up before the case goes to trial.
My prayers go to the family of George Stinney left behind but also to the families of 11 year old Betty June Binnicker and 8 year old Mary Emma Thames who now never will learn who took their children away from them. If George Stinney was in fact innocent there has been a double murderer walking freely around us since. We can only guess if more victims have lost their lives as result of his poor defense and poor policework.
- George Junius STINNEY Jr. (Murderpedia)
- Raising affluenza teenager is way better than raising a teenager with consequence. (Ealier blog-entry)
- Mark Wahlberg seeks pardon of felony conviction for 1988 assault (Los Angeles Times)