Saturday, July 25, 2015

91 Days

91 Days
A Tribute to George Junius Stinney, Jr
4' x 4'

George Junius Stinney, Jr.

1929, October 21: BIRTH
Alcolu, South Carolina, USA

1944, March 23: 2 white girls ages 8 and 11 beaten to death.

1944, March 24: ARRESTED along with his older brother, Johnnie; Johnnie later released.

[His sister Amie said he was with her during the estimated time of the killing.]

[Stinney's cellmate, Wilford Hunter, said Stinney told him, “I didn't, didn't do it.”]

When Stinney was arrested, his father was fired from his job at the sawmill. His family was ordered to leave town immediately or endure retribution.
Fearing for their lives, they fled.

Without family visits and support, this unsophisticated boy had to endure his trial and death all alone.

1944, April 24: TRIAL 2:30PM: trial begins


SHERIFF [only evidence]: “Stinney confessed”
[no written record; NO corroboration.]

DEFENSE: politically ambitious TAX ATTORNEY,
asked for change of venue; DENIED. 

NO other witnesses were called.

5:00PM: Jury sent to deliberate.

5:10PM: Jury issues verdict, “GUILTY”.

Stinney's Attorney chose NOT to appeal.

1944, June 16, 7:30PM: EXECUTION
Stinney was too small [5'-1”, 95 pounds], for the adult sized electric chair.

Phone books and/or the Bible he carried to his execution were needed for a booster seat in order for him to get strapped in and reach the electrified helmet.

2014, December 17 CONVICTION VACATED.

This project started in December 2014 when I answered an invitation from Jennifer Marsh, [Dream Rocket project and others], to create a tribute to George Junius Stinney, Jr. After reading about this case, I felt compelled to make a tribute. My art will join that of others in a traveling exhibit. 

 Because of recent events in South Carolina and Texas, where people were judged by the color of their skin, I believe this exhibit is more important than when I began.  The persecution of people because of the color of their skin has to STOP!

For more information about Stinney, check out the links below.

These both show the photo I used to make the portrait.



Norma Schlager said...

What a sad story, Anne, and you have handled it beautifully. Did you paint the boy's face?

ann said...

Yes, I did the portrait based on his prison photo.

janice pd said...

Well done Ann! A compelling piece.