Stinney, who was Black, was convicted of the first-degree murder of two pre-teen white girls by an all-white jury in South Carolina. No physical evidence existed in the case, and the sole evidence against Stinney was the circumstantial fact the girls had spoken with Stinney and his sister shortly before their murder and the testimony of three police officers who claimed that Stinney had confessed to the murders. Killed by electric chair in June 1944 at age 14, Stinney was the youngest person executed in the United States in the 20th century. On Dec. 17, 2014, Stinney’s conviction was vacated by Circuit Court Judge Carmen Mullen, effectively clearing his name.
Central Park Five
Five Black and Hispanic boys between the ages of 14-16 were convicted of the 1989 assault and rape of Trisha Meili, a white woman who was jogging in New York’s Central Park, in a case that drew national headlines and outraged many in the city. They were convicted on the basis of coerced confessions and faulty scientific evidence. The convictions were vacated in 2002 when Matias Reyes, a convicted rapist and murderer serving a life sentence for other crimes, confessed to committing the crime alone and DNA evidence confirmed his involvement in the rape.