1944 case revisited; family receives the exoneration they wanted

On Behalf of | Jul 20, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

If you face charges for a serious crime, like murder, it’s absolutely essential to find a criminal defense attorney who will fight for you. The penalties for murder could range from life in prison to the death penalty in South Carolina, so it’s important that you have someone on your side who can help you minimize the risk of those serious outcomes.

In some cases, exonerations are possible for people who were wrongfully convicted of murder. While the hope is to get them exonerated while they’re still alive, that isn’t always possible for everyone, like this man who was executed by the state in 1944.

The 14-year-old boy was executed after being convicted of beating two women to death. At the time, the teen was too small to sit correctly in the electric chair, which is just one unusual fact about the case. It was discovered that the teen didn’t have any defense. There was no physical evidence. There were no witnesses, and no appeal was filed.

Despite that, the young man’s fate was decided. He was an African American, and 12 white men were on the jury. They took only 10 minutes to decide on the execution. Today, it’s impossible to bring that child back, but his family is getting justice. The judge vacated the decision against the young man and cleared his name.

This is an example of how the justice system can admit when it was wrong and correct its mistakes. It is too little, too late for the teen, but his family can now feel better about receiving justice for what happened. Today, that kind of violation of due process would be unlikely to happen, but to protect yourself, you should always work with someone who knows the law and how to protect your rights.


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