Talk:George Stinney

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Birthday not correct[edit]

When he was 14 at execution in 1944, how was he born in 1897 as stated in the article? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 94.254.89.229 (talk) 19:34, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

Media section should be labeled as such[edit]

This isn't a upcoming fantastic movie we are talking about. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 203.11.167.2 (talk) 05:23, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

POV[edit]

Do we really need to mention race at every chance we get? "George Stinney, who was black.... murdering two white girls". "...was interrogated by many white officers". What's the point? This could be implying that he was wrongfully charged on the basis of race. Really, there is no need to mention everyone's race. 98.226.26.89 (talk) 19:08, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

Please don't take this the wrong way, but it was South Carolina, in the 1940s, and race did matter there at that time. In fact, it mattered more than anything else about a person, including what they did. Suggesting otherwise is, well, kind of like suggesting that the Earth is flat, that gravity is just a theory that can be disregarded at whim, or that the victims of the Salem Witch Trials really were engaged in witchery and unnatural pacts with devils or whatnot. It is patently ludicrous and would be vaguely entertaining for its pure unadulterated ignorance if it was not about the subject that it is about. Katana0182 04:12, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
While I think it is fine to expand the article, I had a few issues with how some of it was presented. I'd actually tend to think there was more POV displayed in the way some things were presented than there ever was in referring to race. I made a few changes to try and eliminate that appearance. Two points that used the qualifier of "apparently" were removed or changed: "Swift action to solve the crime was apparently taken by the sherrif's deputies" was not cited and appeared to be an unsupported conclusion, and the use of the word in the sentence "both girls apparently "fought back"". The article states clearly Stinney's age at the beginning, so one would have to question why his description of "(90 lbs, 5'1", 14 years old)" would warrant inclusion twice in the same paragraph. Another issue I had was the repeated use of quote marks around certain words in the description of the crime, mostly around the word "kill" (3 times) and the words "confessed" and "confession". Whether these indicated actual quotations from the book was completely unclear, but it did tend to make it appear as editorial in context and gave the appearance of emphasis on the part of whoever was writing it. Finally, we don't italicize quotes from a source, it is only quoted. Finally, if you are quoting a source and the use of what is generally considered an epithet for emphasis, it really is unnecessary to apologize for its use. Wildhartlivie (talk) 06:55, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
The reason why I repeated Stinney's measurements is because it appears relevant to the question of whether the accused, a 14 year old prepubescent male, weighing 90 lbs, and 5'1" tall, would really be able to simultaneously murder 2 females (ages 8 and 11), and not only murder them, but shatter each's skull in 4-5 pieces. The point that I was trying to make in my edit is that perhaps the reader should look critically at the physical evidence in the case, as the supposed perpetraror was short, small, and prepubescent.
Further, it appears the only circumstantial evidence that linked Stinney to the killings, however tenuously, was that he was the last individual who spoke with the victims prior to their deaths. Looking at this in the racial context of the times inevitably implies that this circumstance - the African American accused speaking to the Caucasian female victims - was given a tremendous amount of weight - in determining guilt or innocence. I didn't feel that all the the physical evidence that Jones illustrated were fully illuminated in the prior version of the article which appeared to implicitly take Stinney's "confession" at face value. Perhaps this is original research, but I didn't state my suspicion, merely juxtaposed Stinney's height, weight, and age with descriptions of what Stinney supposedly "confessed" to, so as to encourage critical examination by readers.
I apologize for any formatting errors.
Do you concur that the removal of the POV tag is now warranted? Katana0182 15:40, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't doubt that your conclusions are valid, the only problem is that we have to be careful not to slant the way it is written to convey that thought in the absence of reliable sourcing, thus removing the quotes and repetition of the description. Writing things in a non-POV manner is not so easy sometimes, especially when it seems that the majority seems to doubt the guilt of this boy. The only reason why this is considered notable is because of his age, the social climate of the time, and doubt concerning it. We can't synthesize a point of view by how things are presented, but we can find adequate reliable sources that would support a discussion of that neutrally. I think that perhaps an attempt to present the information without bias may have made it appear that the story was accepted although the sources at hand didn't give that much assistance in writing it in any other manner. I greatly expanded the article a few months ago, based on the sourcing I could find. You can see how it looked prior to that here. I don't think the article overstates the mention of race or that the prejudice of the times can't be overstated, I do agree with the removal of the POV tag. Perhaps if enough solid sourcing could be found, a section on the bias exhibited in the arrest, confession and conviction could be supported, and I certainly do not object to that being formulated. I'm only concerned that it be presented neutrally and without conveying, even unintentionally, a writer's opinion of it. Thanks. Wildhartlivie (talk) 19:53, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

This is typical wikipedia: racism toward white people i.e. always favoring those who want to excuse black male crimes against white people. The wiki version here is about 90% FALSE. This version is Obviously written by people with an agenda. George committed the crime. There was no doubt about it back then! This is yet ANOTHER attempt by agenda seekers to use wikipeia to rewrite American history. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.105.102.175 (talk) 16:07, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

Actually this is typical application of core Wikipedia policy, which is that the threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is "verifiability, not truth." "Verifiability" in this context means that material added to Wikipedia must have been published previously by a reliable source. In other words we editors may not add our own views to articles simply because we believe them to be correct, and may not remove sources' views from articles simply because we personally disagree with them.--Mystichumwipe (talk) 05:56, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

"Actually this is typical application of core Wikipedia policy" EXACTLY. White Christian people are to be presented as low-down pack of demons. American history is being rewritten with that in mind...and wiki is playing a BIG part. To imply that Goerge Stinney is innocent, that white southern 'racists' railroaded him into a confession, is despicable. A 14-year-old boy?! C'mon! Where is the proof?! There not one shred of evidence. I included the exact copy of the "published & verifiable" notes from the deputy who interrogated George Stinney. In it, he stated George told him where the murder weapon was. Only the true perp would know that! And what did wiki do (was it you?)? They pulled that from the discussion. Why? Because it didn't fit with the overall premise of the wiki plot line: white Christians MUST be presented as wicked evil-doers. And their completely innocent victims - blacks- are always the ones who suffered. BULL.

Over and over again I have seen incidences regarding American history on wkipedia being rewritten to make white people out to be a pack of demons (e.g. Rosewood, Tulsa riot, etc.). And yes, it is "typical application of core Wikipedia policy." I wrote a complete non-agenda version which was consistent with George being guilty. I included a verifiable published source (Deputy Newman's statement). And you changed it back to the original "George was railroaded by wicked southern racists' version. Don't insult my intelligence by stating you were simply following wiki policy. If there is in fact new and legitimate evidence that a reasonable person might say could point to George's innocence, then include that ONLY as a separate category at the end of the page. If Wikipedia wants to present a fair-minded description of the George Stinney crime, then George must be depicted as guilty, until ironclad evidence is introduced showing otherwise. Yet, George is being depicted as innocent on Wikipedia, and the white southern people are being depicted as a pack of evil-doers. Again, it's an agenda...and it's despicable. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.105.102.175 (talk) 00:52, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

The page should not be about deciding whether George was innocent or guilty, and you are correct should neither be about demonising any particular group of people. You appear to believe George was guilty as charged and want the article to reflect that. That is understandadable. Wikipedia articles should present what verifiable secondary sources report and should do so objectively and impartially, (not decide for the reader one way or the other). If you think this article shows a bias you can attempt to rectify that by providing material supported by reliable secondary sources. I reverted your edits because they provided no cited source and therefore were what is called original research, i.e you edited and re-worded the article to reflect YOUR OWN personal viewpoint. Also as this article is primarily about George himself, I therefore felt the inclusion of the actual words from the Deputies notes (of what are allegedly the coerced statement of a minor) are of secondary importance and need not be given such prominence. We already have a summary of their contents. The links provided can lead the interested parties to such details of the case and readers can then decide for themselves. But if you insist we can perhaps include that.
Finally you need to sign your replies on the talk page.--Mystichumwipe (talk) 06:21, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

“You appear to believe George was guilty as charged and want the article to reflect that.” I want the article to reflect what the jury concluded in 1944 based on the evidence, which was George’s own confession. In that confession, which you have decided - using your own bias - is nothing more than “secondary importance”, George tells the deputy what he used as the weapon to kill the two girls, where to find said weapon, as well as why he killed the girls. In the confession is ironclad proof of George's guilt - for only the true murderer would know what weapon was used and where to find it. And you conclude that that material evidence is nothing more than “secondary importance?” My opinion is that you are so biased that you should not be allowed to moderate this article. Want more evidence of your clear and unmistakable biasness? Example: “alleged confession and the judicial process leading to his execution has been criticized as "suspicious at best and a miscarriage of justice at worst"“ That is an OPINION and based on nothing but personal prejudice. It is inserted to taint the article toward the ‘George was railroaded by southern white racists’ version. Then , “and an example of the many injustices African-Americans suffered in courtrooms in the Southern United States in the first half of the 20th Century” SICK! Again, a blatant attempt to steer the reader’s opinion toward George being railroaded by racist southern white people. And who do you allow as sources for those two quotes? A black female “reporter" (Zerlina Maxwell ) with a clear bias, and a group of people who are advocates for George’s alleged innocence. Yet, they offer NO exculpatory evidence. NOTHING. And what version to you (and wiki) run with? The “new” version. No evidence, no nothing, just biased opinions. But opinions that obviously reflect your own personal bias. Another gem from biased Zerlina Maxwell, that you have no problem with, “This was South Carolina in 1944, with a black male defendant, two young white female victims, and an all white, male jury. Stinney never stood a chance.’ That is opinion based on NO supporting fact(s) what-so-ever! And yet you inserted it back into the discussion when I deleted it. Based on the examples I cited, you should not be allowed to moderate this article. Your agenda is crystal clear… Again, the George Stinney article should be consistent with George being guilty ... until legitimate exculpatory evidence is shown to indicate otherwise. (steven) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.105.102.175 (talk) 18:18, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

You appear to not understand how wikipedia works. I can only repeat to you what has already been explained, that the threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is "verifiability, not truth." "Verifiability" in this context means that material added to Wikipedia must have been published previously by a reliable source. In other words we editors may not add our own views to articles simply because we believe them to be correct, and may not remove sources' views from articles simply because we personally disagree with them. See also original research. (Please follow the links provided by clicking on the wording in blue).--Mystichumwipe (talk) 07:00, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
HOLY COW! There is no doubt in my mind that George was guilty.
And why isn't Deputy Newman's written confession included in the wiki article? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.105.102.175 (talk) 03:14, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

There is a huge market for these type of black grievance stories. Basically, we are expected to believe George was innocent because of racism (no other evidence apparently needed), so the cops decided to frame and kill a 14 year old because they are a bunch of psychopaths. Fortunately, the real murderer decided to stop after killing a 7 and 11 year old. This Wiki article does not have a neutral POV by a longshot. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:C:5800:28E:F443:3605:571B:1399 (talk) 22:33, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

Well, son, if the shoe fits, wear it. Yes, Southern police were greatly feared by blacks b/c many of them were/are "psychopaths" as you correctly point out. They were there to uphold segregation at WHATEVER THE COST, AND YOU DAMN WELL KNOW IT. Actually, whether George was innocent or not is NOT the issue at all. The issue is HE DIDN'T GET A FAIR TRIAL. It's really sad that the South is still so screwed up in its collective head that people like you, 70 years later, can't acknowledge what is just so obviously fact for everyone else. LOL. There's no agenda here, buddy. THAT is all in your head. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 47.138.92.237 (talk) 06:22, 2 February 2017 (UTC)

Agreed, take a look at how parts of the article is phrased.
"Stinney, an African-American youth from South Carolina, was convicted of the first-degree murder of two pre-teen white girls:"
'pre-teen'? Seems like the author is trying to make us sympathise with the girls. This isn't a necessary adjective considering that the ages are stated after the sentence.
"who testified at a trial which lasted barely two hours,"
'barely'? Again, trying to position us to sympathise with Stinney, to hint that his execution was murder and not a justified execution.
I haven't read the entire article, but there's likely more phrasing like that. Ich bin Sal (talk) 13:16, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
Re: the current effort to clear his name: I was thinking at least the racists haven't hopped on this to try to smear the kid generations later the way the Phagan family is still clinging to the delusion that Leo Frank actually killed little Mary...and then I saw the rantings above. Very sad. Hopefully SC can provide some long overdue justice for this boy. 63.116.103.10 (talk) 21:28, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

George Stinney Jr.[edit]

Today is the first time I have heard about this case. I do, however agree that it is a racial case. For the time frame that this happened and in South Carolina, what else could it be? He and his sister were the last known people to had seen them alive...as far as who says? Maybe there was someone else around that NOBODY saw in the area! The article said he killed them at the same time! He wasn't even big enough to do this. He was "small" for his age, so, the girls may have been larger in stature than he was. And whose to say they fought back! How do we know he wanted to have sex with them! 10/04/2011 Alma — Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.173.88.105 (talk) 23:04, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

I very much doubt the little 11 year-old girl looking for flowers had such a sex-drive. Moreover, he confessed to the crime and its actions. --George2001hi (talk) 12:07, 27 November 2011 (UTC)

I don't understand[edit]

Sorry, I am not english and I am not able to undertand this sentence

"I don't think that they had too much of a trial"

Can anyone explain it to me?

Obrigado. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 151.33.84.193 (talk) 13:04, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Noone? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 151.33.84.193 (talk) 14:02, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

It means that they didn't have enough evidence for a trial in the first place. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mohamedkaba (talkcontribs) 23:00, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

No, it means that the speaker doesn't think that the trial was fair, he thinks that it was a mock up of a trial, not a real trial. СЛУЖБА (talk) 12:10, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

No. This quote comes from one of the sisters of one of the victims, in an interview given by National Public Radio. She says that "We knew George was guilty. I don't think that they had too much of a trial". Then she laughs. She knows that the trial was a sham but it's okay, b/c she thinks he was guilty anyway. This is typical of White Southern Mentality. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 47.138.92.237 (talk) 06:27, 2 February 2017 (UTC)

Dates[edit]

Anyone else notice the dates on the page don't work out? how could he have been killed before he was born? and how could the crime have taken place before he was born but after he was killed? I don't know the the correct dates, but I wanted to point this out. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.15.46.194 (talk) 19:23, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

Conviction status[edit]

Conviction status Deceased

How is that a conviction status? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.230.6.176 (talk) 18:58, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia's standards specifies Conviction status as "e.g. at-large, in prison, on parole, released, dead (specify if executed), etc." Removing POV template. - Pingveno 22:36, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Removing POV[edit]

I am removing the POV tag. The original reasoning for adding a POV tag was resolved back in 2010. The only person since then wanted an article that agreed with the jury's (clearly wrong/racist) opinion. It's been a year, so away goes the POV tag. Pingveno 05:20, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

Robert Ridgeway, "George led them to the bodies."[edit]

Robert Ridgeway raises some issues of interest, I don't know how to include them in the article. As a non-American with no 'dog in this race' I want to help clean up a potential POV nightmare, but I truly don't know how to include this stuff. It provides information on what the murder weapon was, what happened during the time, and how the bodies were found, etc. Including details of the confession, knowledge of the weapon, and the location of the bodies. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PM5pZby6QA — Preceding unsigned comment added by 121.211.3.110 (talk) 08:52, 17 September 2015 (UTC)

I saw this YouTube post and Rob Ridgeway was thirteen years old at the time of the murders and simply tells the interviewer what his dad told him about what happened. It's complete hearsay, and cannot be counted as "further evidence" against Stinney. Ridgeway has NOTHING interesting to say or new to add to what's already known about this case. It's really laughable that you would give this man's interview any weight at all, whether you have a "dog in this race" or not. Perhaps it is because you are not American, that you do not understand nor have you ever been confronted with the peculiar psychology of Southerners, esp. when it comes to race. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 47.138.92.237 (talk) 10:05, 3 January 2017 (UTC)

"American murderer"?[edit]

Given the doubt about his actual guilt, is it appropriate to caption the top photo this way? Maybe "convicted of murder" would be better. ADREY talk 08:38, 18 October 2015 (UTC)

Reduce cites from same article[edit]

Four or five articles were cited that were basically copies of two wire service reports, one by INS and one by AP. Both reported the sheriff as saying that "George Junius" (incorrect name) had been arrested. The articles had only slight differences otherwise (one reported that he was held in jail in Columbia), both reported the incorrect name, and there is no reason to cite more than one version of the each article. I deleted copies, leaving only one version by each of the wire services.Parkwells (talk) 18:05, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

Sources[edit]

Mark Jones' book gives no sources for his account of Stinney's case. Delete quoted report of the execution, which was not accurate from the book anyway. Too unbalanced to provide this much detail.Parkwells (talk) 18:51, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

conviction or confession?[edit]

The text currently reads, "There was no written record of his conviction, ..."

I'm fairly sure this should be "There was no written record of his confession." That is mentioned in the cite for that sentence, but I see no evidence for the improbable claim that his conviction was not recorded, and the absence of a transcript of the trial is mentioned separately. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 172.78.86.255 (talk) 00:33, 7 December 2015 (UTC)

JJDoolan edits[edit]

JJDoolan (talk · contribs) is a WP:SPA editor who has edited no articles other than this one. He seems to repeatedly revert to his own preferred text of the article. Most recently, his edits here, here and here have reverted two months worth of edits, consisting of 57 intermediate revisions by 19 users (although some of them, admittedly, are spurious ones), to go back to his preferred version of the article from October 18.

He's reverted three times today, contrary to WP:3RR; I won't revert his most recent reversion, because I'm loathe to violate that rule myself.

I'm assuming, weighing this single insistent editor against 19 others, that his version does not reflect the consensus. Is there any disagreement on that point? This looks like plain old WP:Edit warring to me.

I'm bringing it up here prior to escalating to WP:AN/EW. TJRC (talk) 01:59, 18 December 2015 (UTC)

The edits I reverted added no substance to the article and systematically purged it of the fact that Stinney knew the location of the murder weapon. His knowledge of the murder weapon is extremely important information. Without that information none of the article makes sense. I went ahead and added the information back in without reverting so that the article is at least somewhat coherent. JJDoolan (talk) 01:34, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
I've restored the removed material, which is mostly recent coverage that appears to have been selectively removed to eliminate assertions of controversy. While it can undoubtedly be cleaned up and improved, reliance on newspaper articles of the time in preference to later research obscures the current controversy over the subject's arrest, conviction and death, and doubts about coverage of events at the time. Current sources are to be preferred, especially as they are an integral part of the subject's notability. Acroterion (talk) 02:27, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
I encourage you to read the "recent coverage" which was being falsely represented in the article. Nothing I removed was supported by any source. JJDoolan (talk) 07:55, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
I did, you were systematically removing recent coverage that covers criticism of the trial and investigation and emphasizing statements of the time that accepted the investigation uncritically. The notable issue about the subject is that their conviction was criticized and overturned, you're attempting to argue in favor of the original trial and investigation by relying on coverage of the time. He may well have been guilty, but he didn't receive a fair investigation and trial. I have adjusted a few things that you pointed out that were lost in the mass of removals, such as the statement that Stinney made threats and liked to pick fights, and the correction concerning records of confession rather than conviction. You are trying to re-argue the case using sources of the time that accepted the judicial lynching of a minor, and eliminating current sources that call the process, at least, into question. Acroterion (talk) 12:31, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
There are a couple things I removed from the article. Some of them are 100% purely false and not in the source that follows, for example "At trial, Stinney denied confessing to the crime." This is not in the source linked after it. It is actually completely contradicted by the source, which says the confession was not challenged at the trial. So by reverting my edits you have placed in the article a complete lie bordering on vandalism. Other things are extremly misleading and misrepresent the source. For example: "There was no written record of his confession". The source actually says "The confession, if it was ever written down or signed, has not survived, along with the transcript of the trial". The source makes it very clear there was possibly a written record of his confession which got lost by the time people tried to reopen the case over half a century later. I am willing to work within consensus to improve this horrifically bad article, but I am sure we can agree false and misleading information doesn't belong in the article. JJDoolan (talk) 16:36, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Stop edit-warring and we can discuss this: claiming reversion of your edits, which have caused several editors concern, is vandalism is extremely inappropriate. We can adjust wording, we can't deal with wholesale reversions to your preferred version. Acroterion (talk) 16:46, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
You are the only one who seems concerned by my recent edits. You are the one who reverted them, and you are the one complaining about them. If you look at each edit individually they are all very good and properly explained in the edit comment. Let's be specific, which edits do you object to? Instead of reverting all my changes we can adjust the ones you find objectionable. JJDoolan (talk) 16:58, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

Contemporary sources may have their biases. Current sources may also have their biases. We can present them both, but they should be tempered with academic sources. Rklawton (talk) 13:20, 6 February 2016 (UTC)


What, if anything, do people actually object to about my edits? People keep blanket reverting 15 edits I made which are all supported by sources. Yet nobody has addressed why they are reverting the edits I worked hard on and ensured properly reflect the sources. All the edits are explained in the individual edit comments. So why are they being blanket reverted with no discussion? JJDoolan (talk) 18:00, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

Have you read father up the page? The net effect of your edits was to emphasize possibly biased sources in Jim Crow-era South Carolina and to minimize current sources critical of the investigation and trial. You appear to be attempting to try the case over again to find Stinney guilty, which is not the purpose of this page. Stinney is notable as a victim of judicial lynching in a time of extreme prejudice. He may also have been guilty of murder, but the investigation was so poorly handled that it's impossible to determine that now. You have reverted extensive edits by several other editors because it appears that you reject current coverage of the subject. The right way to discuss these issues in an encyclopedia article is to contrast the points of view at different times. In no case can you revert multiple times to your preferred version, right or wrong. You will note that other editors have refrained from multiple reverts and have explained why. Acroterion (talk) 18:19, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
I did not minimize any current sources. I did edit out completely false statements from wikipedia which were not supported by the source given. Instead of vaguely referring to the "net effect" of my edits lets discuss them specifically and individually. Which edits do you object to and why?
I also have not reverted any edits to the page since I was asked not to months ago. People have been reverting my 15 small, well sourced, and explained edits and I undid the unjustified reverts done to my well sourced edits.
I am happy to discuss my changes with you and we can put more work into improving the article together, but I don't see any justification for trashing 15 edits over a vague feeling. I worked hard on them to ensure they are accurate and reflected by sources. If any individual edits were bad or controversial we can fix them with additional editing. There is no need to throw out all my work with a blanket revert.JJDoolan (talk) 18:33, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

Overhaul[edit]

I'm going to make an attempt at reviewing JJDoolan's edits one-by-one now that it's possible to do so, and to address the article based on then-and-now sourcing. This will probably take longer than 48 hours. JJDoolan, you are welcome to participate here once your block for edit-warring has expired. Please remember to assume good faith and to respect the views of other editors. Your editing experience is extremely limited on Wikipedia, and you appear to have missed out on some vital experience in editing in a collaborative environment. I have adjusted some portions in response to your comments and am happy to do more, but I do expect you to refrain from claims of vandalism and personal attacks against other editors whose views on interpretation of sourcing and article emphasis may vary from yours. Acroterion (talk) 20:10, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

A few notes relative to JJDoolan's edits and concerns:

  • While there is a statement made by a deputy that Stinney had confessed, there is no actual confession, signed or otherwise witnessed or acknowledged by Stinney. I have included the deputy's statement, while noting the absence of an actual, legally admissible confession. JJDooley's contention [1] that the deputy's statement that states Stinney confessed is the same as a confession is incorrect. A confession, to be admissible as such, is a specific document. Since there is no transcript of the trial, it's not possible to do anything but to acknowledge the deputy's statement while noting the absence of a true, binding confession in the record.
  • Similarly, there is only the deputy's assertion that Stinney led them to the crime scene and described the location of the murder weapon. In the circumstances of the investigation and trial, we can only note the deputy's statement and cannot state in Wikipedia's voice that Stinney actually did any of the things alleged by the deputy. We cannot flatly state that Stinney did these things when they are disputed, contrary to JJDoolan's edits which draw conclusions [2], [3].
  • JJDoolan removed a statement that there was no written record of the conviction, which is reasonable, but also removed the sourced, verifiable statement that no transcript has survived [4]. I have restored that part.
  • I have included material relating to Stinney's reputation as a troublemaker.
  • The whole issue surrounding current reporting and the overturn of the conviction is the assertion that Stinney may have been coerced into making statements, either directly or through deprivation of contact with family and counsel. Removing a statement concerning the controversy over this case [5] and claiming it is just a statement of opinion obscures the notable issues surrounding the case.
  • JJDoolan's insertion that "the ruling stated that the case was not overturned on its merits" [6] omits the rest of the judge's rationale. The controversy and ruling were about Sixth Amendment rights, not the specific facts of the case, which the judge stated were likely the result of coercion.
  • I have corrected the "two hour trial" to "one-day trial", which I can find in sources. It may be that the trial itself was that short, since jury selection took place on the same day, but I haven't seen a direct statement to that effect. The Washington Post describes a "two-hour trial" and a ten-minute deliberation.
  • JJDoolan's removal [7] of the material concerning the lack of physical evidence is not justified in sources, but I haven't yet found a statement that Stinney denied the confession statements noted in the deputy's report.
  • This [8] may be unsourced, but that's easily fixed, and it is crucial to understanding the issues surrounding the case.
  • In general, I've tried to rewrite to avoid stating conclusions in Wikipedia's voice. Stinney's guilt or innocence are ambiguous, and that's how we must treat it.

As I've stated previously, while some of JJDoolan's edits are appropriate, the sum of the edits moves the opening of the article into an uncritical statement of Stinney's guilt, while minimizing or eliminating the concerns of railroading and inadequate representation that are the foundation of the ruling that vacated Stinney's conviction, and which are extensively documented in the latter portion of the article. That's a big problem. The essence of the subject is not Stinney's guilt or innocence, it's about the unfair prosecution, trial and execution of a 14-year-old, as specifically stated in Judge Mullen's ruling. Acroterion (talk) 02:16, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

I've added some discussion from the judge's opinion that vacated the conviction, which contrasts the ambiguity of evidence and the unusual and unfair legal process, and summarized it in the lede, noting that Stinney may have been guilty. Acroterion (talk) 03:48, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Acroterion, thanks for taking on this thankless task. Pardon the paradox. TJRC (talk) 06:20, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Happy to do it, it's an interesting case. I can see two possibilities here, neither of which can be presented in this manner in the article since there's no concise summary in sources:
  • Stinney was a troublemaker who killed the girls
  • Stinney was a troublemaker who did not kill the girls, and was used as a credible patsy
It's impossible to say which is correct, so I've expanded the troublemaker section, which is sourced from more than one direction and which serves either thesis equally, despite the family's (natural) opposition to that portrayal. In any case, Stinney's guilt or innocence is by the way, as Judge Mullen notes. The failure of the legal process to even pretend to safeguard Stinney's rights as the accused is what makes Stinney and this crime notable, and the article must remain agnostic on guilt and innocence.
Mr. Plowden was certainly no Atticus Finch. It would be interesting to know if Harper Lee knew of this case. I don't see any indication in sources that she directly used any of the circumstances, she seems to have kept closer to home for her characters. Acroterion (talk) 18:46, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Wrongful Convictions Link[edit]

I realize this will be controversial to suggest or say, so I do apologize for this in advance. However I feel it might need to be said. At the bottom of the page, there's a link to "wrongful convictions of the United States." The problem I have with this link rests entirely on the later determination by the South Carolina courts that the trial violated Stinney's sixth amendment rights, and thus the judgement was vacated. Having a judgement vacated isn't the same as proclaiming a person as being innocent or acquitting them of charges. Even here on wikipedia it notes quote "Relief from judgment" of a United States District Court is governed by Rule 60 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.[1] The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit noted that a vacated judgment "place[s] the parties in the position of no trial having taken place at all; thus a vacated judgment is of no further force or effect." Since the judgement was vacated, it means that Stinney, for better or worse, remains a key suspect in the case, and were the state able or willing to do so, they could retry the case and in doing so present the chance that he would once again be found guilty. However, given the fact that the young man is no longer alive, as well as numerous court documents being missing due to records being lost, it's unlikely that such a case will ever be tried. Basing on this fact and the definition of a vacated judgement, it seems improper to list this among cases of wrongful conviction. Wrongful conviction only stands when a person is found by a preponderance of the evidence to be found guilty, only to later discover that the evidence was falsified, or a purely innocent person was found guilty. Since, as I noted, for reasons above it's impossible to really determine whether or not Stinney was actually innocent of the murders he was convicted for, this is less a case of wrongful conviction, and more a case of a mistrial. Kitsunedawn (talk) 19:52, 5 May 2016 (UTC)