High Museum| Basquiat & Muniz
George Junius Stinney Jr.
Perhaps the most touching photo collage by Vic Muniz was the one of George Junius Stinney Jr. African-American youth convicted at age 14 of murder in 1944 in his home town of South Carolina. Stinney was convicted in 1944 in a one-day trial of the first-degree murder of two white girls. After being arrested, Stinney was said to have confessed to the crime. There was no written record of his confession apart from notes provided by an investigating deputy, and no transcript of the brief trial. He was executed by electric chair.
Since Stinney’s conviction and execution, the question of his guilt, the validity of his reported confession, and the judicial process leading to his execution have been extensively criticized. Muniz paid tremendous homage to the legacy of this young man, and taught me some history as well.