Neither the book nor the movie purports to be a biography of George Stinney Jr., nor do they dramatize his story.
However, there are many recognizable correlations between fact and fiction. George and Linus are both the same age and they lived in South Carolina.
The main income for the town came from a saw mill, owned by a white family employing mostly black people.
The victims were both two little girls. In fictitious Crawfordsville and the real Alcolu, the populations were ready to lynch the boy in gaol. They were each failed by their legal counsel and other officials. They both signed a confession. They were both killed in the electric chair.
In short, the background story, insofar as it affects Linus Bragg and is told in flash-backs in the film, fits almost perfectly over the top of the true life experiences of George Stinney Jr. Hence the execution scene in this movie often being used to illustrate documentaries or articles about the real teenager.
The scene where Linus Bragg is strapped into the electric chair is one of the most memorable and disturbing moments in the movie. Bizarrely though, it doesn't go far enough.
In the movie, Linus enters clutching a Bible, which is taken from him. In reality, George was so small that he ended up having to sit on his Bible, just so the electrodes could fit him. In the film, Linus's wrist strap breaks and he reaches out for Junior. In reality, the adult mask was too big for George and fell off, revealing his terrified and tear-stained face as he was being killed.
For all of its poignancy, the electrocution scene understated the real execution of George Stinney Jr.
But if it held back there, it didn't in the rest of the story. While there is plenty of suspicion that George was innocent, it's blatantly stated that Linus didn't do it. The whole plot is founded upon the fact that the boy was a patsy for the real murderer.