The attorney for James Ford Seale, the reputed Ku Klux Klan member serving three life sentences for his role in the 1964 abduction and deaths of two black Mississippi teenagers, argued before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday that the statute of limitations had expired, negating Seale’s conviction.
Federal public defender Kathy Nester said a 1972 congressional act that abolished the death penalty for kidnapping also imposed a five-year statute of limitations, and that was gone by the time Seale was convicted June 14, 2007.
“Clearly the statute of limitations occurred decades, decades before,” Nester told a three-judge panel of the appeals court. “At some point, fair play comes in.”