The Clarion-Ledger, 11/19/8

A reputed Ku Klux Klansman should not face months of “potentially unnecessary and unlawful imprisonment” as the government appeals his acquittal in the kidnappings of two black teenagers found dead in 1964, his attorneys argue.

James Ford Seale, 73, was convicted last year on kidnapping and conspiracy charges in the abductions of Charles Eddie Moore and Henry Hezekiah Dee. The decomposed bodies of the two 19-year-old friends were pulled from a Mississippi River backwater in 1964.

Seale was convicted in June 2007 and was serving three life sentences when the conviction was overturned in September. A panel of three 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judges in New Orleans said the statute of limitations had elapsed and acquitted Seale of the decades-old crime.

At the time, Seale’s attorney quickly moved to have him released from a federal prison in Indiana, saying he’s an elderly man in declining health. Federal prosecutors, however, persuaded the court to keep Seale in prison while they appeal the decision to overturn his conviction.