Judge Voids Verdict in Case of Young Black Boy Who Died on Electric Chair, Perhaps With the Bible as a Booster Seat

Justice received posthumously is no justice at all. But maybe it’s better than nothing?

A South Carolina judge on Wednesday took the unusual step of vacating the 1944 conviction of a black 14-year-old boy, the youngest person executed in the United States in the past century, saying he did not receive a fair trial in the murders of two white girls.

George Stinney Jr. was convicted by an all-white jury after a one-day trial and a 10-minute jury deliberation during a time when racial segregation prevailed in much of the United States. Stinney died in the electric chair less than three months after the killings of Betty June Binnicker, 11, and Mary Emma Thames, 7.

In her ruling, Judge Carmen Tevis Mullen said she was not overturning the case on its merits, which scant records made nearly impossible to relitigate, but on the failure of the court to grant Stinney a fair trial. She said few or no defense witnesses testified and that it was “highly likely” that Stinney’s confession to white police officers was coerced.



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Surviving the Holidays as an Atheist

Openly Secular has released a helpful guide to surviving the holidays as an atheist. It covers everything from coping with religious family members to whether or not you should even celebrate the occasions:



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Looks Like I’ll Have To Return to Missouri Next Year…

If you needed any encouragement to attend Skepticon 8 next year, this video ought to do the trick!



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Atheist Billboard and Tree of Knowledge To Go Up in Las Vegas

The newly-formed Las Vegas Coalition of Reason will soon put up a billboard (“Godless? So are we!”) to announce its formation. It already erected a Tree of Knowledge (with book-cover ornaments):



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Atheists Sue Franklin County (Indiana) Over Nativity Scene on Courthouse Grounds

Last week, I mentioned that there was a Nativity Scene in Brookville, Indiana that has been up for over 50 years, despite warning letters (over the course of several years) from the Freedom From Religion Foundation to take it down.

Here are the only details that matter: The display is owned by the Town of Brookville and sits on the grounds of the Franklin County Courthouse.



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