by Matt Saldaña
February 28, 2007
On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Henry Wingate denied several motions from lawyers representing James Seale, the 71-year-old former Klansman held in federal custody for his alleged role in the abduction and murder of Charles Moore and Henry Dee in 1964. Wingate denied a motion to dismiss all charges against Seale and a motion to revoke a Jan. 29 order for Seale to remain incarcerated without bond in federal prison.
Citing U.S. v. Jackson, a 1968 Supreme Court ruling that removed kidnapping from the list of crimes punishable by death, federal public defender Dennis Joiner argued that charges stemming from the 1964 murders are not capital offenses and thus would have exceeded their statute of limitations in 1969. Special litigation counsel Paige Fitzgerald, arguing for the prosecution, said that the 1968 ruling did not apply retroactively, and that in 1964 kidnapping was a capital offense unbound by statutes of limitation.
Seale is accused of kidnapping Moore and Dee, tying the 19-year-olds to a tree and ordering other Klansmen to beat them with long bean sticks, as he held a gun on them.
[View the entire article at the Jackson Free Press.]