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Opinion: decades-old case enters the spotlight once again

It is often difficult to prove a crime based on any current evidence available to the prosecutor. Imagine trying to preside over a case that is over 70 years ago!

However, that is exactly what was set to happen in South Carolina, where authorities were re-examining the trial of a young African-American boy who was found guilty of murdering two young white girls, and was executed in what was then a highly racially segregated state.

Decades after the original crime took place, the young man, George Stinney Jr., long since deceased, is getting another day in court.

However, the main goal of the court will be to determine whether or not this young man was guilty. It will be to determine if he got a fair trial.

At 14, Stinney is the youngest person executed in the United States in the last century. Many have argued over the years that he did not get a fair trial at the time of the crime, since the South was segregated, and the jury in the case was all white. Stinney's family was also run out of town at the time he was accused, so he had little support during the trial.

Justice in the south back then was also quite different than it is now. In this country, we no longer execute anyone so young, and our society has become far more integrated than it was back in the 1940s.

Times have changed, and the case has once again gained interest nationally. If it is determined that Stinney did not get a fair trial at the time, a pardon may be issued, which may serve as some consolation to the boy's surviving family.

But what about the family of the young girls, whose lives were taken? It is unlikely that we will ever know exactly what happened in the case, as nearly all evidence is long gone, but surely the victim's family does not need to be exposed to any new court proceedings, no matter how many years have passed. This continuing case is sure to bring up many unpleasant memories, and will more than likely stir up emotions.

What do you this case?

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