(CN) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday let stand the 2007 conviction of a former Ku Klux Klan member who was found guilty of kidnapping and slaying two black teens 45 years ago. The 5th Circuit wanted the high court to decide if too much time had passed between the crime and James Ford Seale’s arrest.
Justices John Paul Stevens and Antonin Scalia objected to the Supreme Court’s decision, arguing the case “presents us with a pure question of law that may well determine the outcome of a number of cases of ugly racial violence from the 1960s.”
Seale was arrested and convicted in 2007 after the May 1964 killings of Charles Moore and Henry Dee.
The two 19-year-olds were abducted, tied to trees and whipped before they were latched to engine blocks and thrown into the Mississippi River.
The 5th Circuit overturned Seale’s conviction in 2008 because the statute of limitations had expired. But the full circuit was deadlocked, and the original ruling stood.
The case goes back to the 5th Circuit.