Saturday, September 13, 2008

How come it took so long to notice a statute of limitations?

It looks like somebody felt that two wrongs make a right here. With such an old crime, a statute of limitations should have been the first thing anybody looked at here. That it was not shows a determination to railroad a man. This anti-white "justice" is just as corrupt as the old anti-black "justice" of the past. The imprisonment was blatantly illegal, though it may have been just, depending on whether you believe suborned evidence. The determined collusion that must have been needed to ignore such an obvious defense is shocking

A US appeals court has overturned the conviction of a senior member of the Ku Klux Klan who is serving three life sentences for his part in the 1964 abduction and killing of two black teenagers in Louisiana. The three judge panel accepted the argument of James Ford Seale's lawyer that the statute of limitations in the case had expired.

Mr Seale, now 73, was convicted in 2007 of kidnapping and conspiracy in the abductions of Chrles Eddie Moore and Henry Hezekiah Dee, both 19, who disappeared from Franklin County in Mississippi in 1964. The boys had been bound, beaten and thrown into the Missippi while still alive. Their decomposed bodies were pulled from the river two months later as the FBI trawled the waters for three missing civil rights workers whose murders at the hands of the Klan were commemorated in the film Mississippi Burning.

The 20 page ruling of the US Circuit Court of Appeals noted that the crimes happened in 1964 but that the indictment against Mr Seale was issued 43 years later in 2007, which, said Judge Harold R DeMossJr, clearly exceeded the limitations period. Defence lawyer Kathy Nester had argued that a 1972 congressional act that abolished the death penalty for kidnapping also imposed a five year statute of limitations.

The case was among many unsolved civil-rights-era crimes that state and federal prosecutors across the South have revived since the early 1990s. It was brought largely on the evidence of Charles Marcus Edwards, a former Klansman, who in 2006 confessed to his role in the kidnappings in exchange for immunity from prosecution.

The murders of Mr Dee and Mr Moore came at the height of racial violence in Mississippi.. The teenagers were accosted by Klansmen who had heard rumours about a possible armed uprising in rural southwest Mississippi at a time when civil rights volunteers were encouraging blacks to vote. The boys, who had nothing to do with the civil rights movement, were offered a lift by Mr Seale, Mr Edwards had told the court, and accused of smuggling guns into the town. They were taken to the woods and beaten until they "confessed" that guns were being stored at a local church. Arter searching the church and finding nothing the Klansmen returned, bound the boys with tape, put them in the boot of their car and drove them through eastern Louisiana to get to the river. Their bodies were weighted with an engine block and iron bars before they were thrown in.

Mr Seale was arrested on a state murder charge in 1964, but it was later dropped. Federal prosecutors say the state case was dropped because local law enforcement officers in 1964 were in collusion with the Klan.

The ruling will be a blow to civil rights workers who have been in a race against time to bring prosecutions for crimes committed during the 1960s. Many of the witnesses and perpetrators are now in their 70s and older, and many of the cases have not come to trial because they exceeded the statute of limitations. However Charles Moore's brother said that despite the ruling, he was pleased that the truth about his brother's death had been uncovered. "This (ruling) doesn't take one ounce away from me," said Thomas Moore. "James Ford Seale has spent more than a year in jail. I know I have disrupted his life."

Original report here

(And don't forget your ration of Wicked Thoughts for today)

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