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Seven decades after the State of South Carolina executed George Stinney, a 14-year old black boy, for killing two young white girls in the small town of Alcolu, a judge has said Stinney never should have died. (Background here by Corey Hutchins.) Almost a year after a judge said the court wouldn’t rehear the case, Circuit Judge Carmen Mullen vacated the conviction yesterday, saying, “I can think of no greater injustice than a violation of one’s constitutional rights which has been proven to me in this case by a preponderance of the evidence standard.” Source: CIR, AP, NYT

Federal Judge Terry Wooten threw out a plea deal reached between the DOJ and Lexington Sheriff James Metts that would have let Metts, who’s accused of taking bribes, to get off without serving any jailtime. Source: The State

Congressman Mark Sanford dismissed an AP report on Tuesday that raised ethical questions over payouts made to him and North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory by Charlotte-based mortgage broker Tree.com between his time as governor and his return to Congress, saying that the report is “misleading and inaccurate.” The AP says it stands by its reporting. Source: AP, P&C

Laying out her priorities for ethics reform in the coming year, Gov. Nikki Haley said she supports income disclosure for lawmakers, independent investigations of complaints, and clear disclosure of conflicts of interest. Source: The State

Running down the members of the South Carolina congressional delegation that have taken a position on President Obama’s shift in policy on Cuba yesterday, here are the key portions of each statement:

Graham (w/ AZ’s McCain): “It is about the appeasement of autocratic dictators”
Scott: “yet another example of this administration continuing to show the rest of the world … that the United States is willing to appease them.”
Sanford: “I am encouraged by the President’s move today”
Duncan: ” have major problems with the Administration’s unilateral decision”

A nationwide AP report out today takes a look at deaths of children purportedly under the supervision of the state, including the widely-reported issues present in the South Carolina DSS system. Source: NYT/AP