“The appeal process is far from over,” said Assistant Federal Public Defender Kathy Nester, Seale’s attorney. “There are several remaining issues before the Fifth Circuit, and, when all those have been resolved, we will have another opportunity to go back up to the Supreme Court and ask them to find that the government’s prosecution of Mr. Seale was barred by the statute of limitations.”
Moore’s brother, Thomas – whose work with Canadian documentary filmmaker David Ridgen led authorities to reopen the case in 2005 – called the ruling “good news. It’s another obstacle out of the way.”
He said he doesn’t believe the courts will let his brother’s killer go. “I’m looking at it as a victory for the Dee and Moore families. If he desires to appeal, that’s his right. It’s a victory for me as long as he’s in prison.”
In 2007, a U.S. District Court jury in Jackson convicted Seale of three counts of kidnapping and conspiracy after hearing testimony that Klansmen abducted the teenagers, beat them, hauled them across the state line, duct-taped their mouths, weighted them down and dumped them into an old part of the Mississippi River.
Justice John Paul Stevens, joined by Justice Antonin Scalia, wrote that this request “presents us with a pure question of law that may well determine the outcome of a number of cases of ugly racial violence remaining from the 1960s. The question is what statute of limitations applies to a prosecution … commenced in 2007 for a kidnaping offense in 1964.”