Columbia, SC (WLTX) - With a decision to decide whether or not George Stinney Jr was given a fail trial nearly 70 years ago in the judges hands, News 19 looked into what happens next for the case.
The judge has the power to rule whether or not Stinney was given a fair trial and can grant a new trail, but state law says that you cannot re-try a criminal case if the defendant is dead, leaving some to wonder if Stinney's name will ever be cleared.
"I don't think there is an effective way to clear his name, you cant try someone under these circumstances in their absence," said Defense Attorney Joe McCullough.
In Judge Mullen's opening statements during the trial she emphasized the fact that this hearing was to prove one thing.
"I want everyone to understand that we are not here to establish the guilt or innocence of George Stinney in this case, he may have very well committed this crime, it's to determine whether or not if he received a fair trial," said Mullen.
Those defending Stinney want to clear his name and prove that he did not commit the crime but according to McCullough who sat in on the case as a representative for the NAACP, he says that could be nearly impossible to do.
"We don't have trials for dead people in criminal court, so the why of it is I think the defense, the lawyers representing the Stinney family feels strongly that this evidence, these new witnesses, all of this should be presented in the court of public opinion with the request for the judge to pronounce this an unfair trial process, to pronounce that George Stinney did not get a day in court as the constitution requires and to grant a new trial and in a practical matter that's all that can be achieved," said McCullough.
The judge is now deciding on her ruling. She has also given the attorneys 10 days to explore related legal issues.