Thursday, September 16, 2010
Reputed klansman James Ford Seale has appealed his case to the U.S. Supreme Court in what will probably be his final chance to have his 2007 kidnapping and conspiracy convictions overturned. On Tuesday, the court announced it will consider whether to hear the appeal during a Sept. 27 conference.
Seale, 75, is serving three life sentences for his role the 1964 murders of two 19-year-old black men, Henry Hezekiah Dee and Charles Eddie Moore. FBI informants stated that Seale was a member of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan at the time of the killings, and that he was among several men who kidnapped Dee and Moore. The mob allegedly tied them to trees in the Homochitto National Forest and severely beat them, then took the young men across state lines and dumped them--wired to a Jeep engine block and possibly still alive--into an offshoot of the Mississippi River in Warren County.
Seale's court-appointed defense team has repeatedly argued that the statute of limitations has expired on the kidnapping offense. Judge Henry Wingate ruled against the defense in the original trial; however, a three-panel group of judges in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the conviction Sept. 9, 2008. On June 5, 2009, the same court upheld the conviction with a complete, 22-member panel.
See full JFP coverage about the Dee-Moore case.