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Many of actors over the years have put their names and star power behind movements and causes. Wendell Pierce, star of HBO’s Treme and the hit series The Wire, is making sure that the public at large knows the story of George Stinney, Jr.– the youngest person executed in theUS.

On a recent episode of MSNBC’s News Nation with Tamron Hall, the star spoke about what inspired him to back a new play, Breathin’ and Hopin’, based on the execution of the 14-year-old African-American by playwright Maximilian Gaspard.

“When he showed me his play, I realized that this was a great opportunity as an artist and as a producer — I wanted to make sure that that story got out,” said Pierce.

The 1944 execution of Stinney, Jr. is drawing the attention of many activist who would like the name of the child cleared because new information in the case suggest the child was coerced into a confession and may be innocent.