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Last Updated: Friday, 24 August 2007, 18:20 GMT 19:20 UK
Ex-KKK man jailed for 1964 deaths
James Ford Seale
Seale was sent to a prison where he can receive treatment for his cancer
A former Ku Klux Klansman has been jailed for life over the abduction and killing of two black teenagers in the US state of Mississippi.

James Ford Seale, 72, was given three life terms on charges of kidnapping and conspiracy over the deaths of Charles Eddie Moore and Henry Hezekiah Dee.

Seale, a former policeman, has appealed against the conviction.

The case was reopened in 2005 after Moore's brother found Seale was still alive. Seale was rearrested in January.

Seale was first arrested in 1964 but authorities freed him, citing lack of evidence.

Those charges were dropped because local police were colluding with the Klan, federal prosecutors have said.

'Horrific' deaths

Judge Henry T Wingate sent Seale, who has cancer and growths on his bones, to a prison that can provide the medical care he needs.

Judge Wingate described the killings as "horrific" and refused an application to release Seale on bail while an appeal is launched.

Moore and Dee, aged 19 when they were killed, were said to have been kidnapped and forced into a vehicle owned by Seale before being tied up and drowned in the Mississippi river.

Their bodies were found months later during a search for three well-known civil rights activists - Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney - who had disappeared in the area.

Charles Moore (file)
Charles Moore was aged 19 at the time of his death

The key witness, confessed Klansman Charles Marcus Edwards, said during the trial that Seale attached heavy weights to the boys and dumped them alive into the river.

The defence had argued that Seale should be acquitted because Mr Edwards, who was granted immunity for his testimony, was an "admitted liar".

Seale's lawyer, Kathy Nester, said Seale insisted he was innocent.

The FBI has re-opened several cases from the civil-rights era before suspects died.

Dozens of black people were killed by whites who wanted to retain racial segregation in the 1950s and 60s.

Few of the crimes were solved, partly because some of the perpetrators were protected by state and local officials.


SEE ALSO
Ex-KKK man guilty in 1964 killing
15 Jun 07 |  Americas
US man in 1964 race attack charge
25 Jan 07 |  Americas
Jailed ex-Klansman granted bail
12 Aug 05 |  Americas
Mississippi murders revisited
12 Jan 05 |  Americas
Timeline: United States of America
25 May 07 |  Country profiles

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