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11th Circuit Decision: Feb. 11, 2019

UPDATE: 6/4/2019 … Eleventh Circuit Court will re-hear Pitch v. U.S. en banc

On June 4, 2019, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals announced that it will re-hear the case of Pitch v. United States en banc (with the full panel of 12 judges) later this year. This also means that their February 11, 2019, decision is now vacated.

Over the past five years, author and historian Anthony S. Pitch has won two key decisions in the Georgia courts:

  1. The U. S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia granted Pitch’s petition to access the 1946 grand jury records on August 18, 2017.
  2. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s decision on February 11, 2019, after the government filed an appeal.

Both the author and attorney Joseph J. Bell look forward to having the case re-presented to the full panel of judges in the Eleventh Circuit. They view this as a favorable indicator of the court’s recognition that exceptional historical interest can and does allow for exceptions to Rule 6(e), the Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure governing privacy of grand jury proceedings.

Given the precedents already established for exceptional historical interest in high-profile cases occurring far more recently than the 1946 Moore’s Ford Lynching (e.g., Julius & Ethel Rosenberg, Jimmy Hoffa, Richard Nixon, and Alger Hiss), the legal team is confident that it will achieve the goal of securing the Moore’s Ford grand jury transcripts, thus bringing historical closure to this 73-year-old unsolved mass murder.


Eleventh Circuit Court Decision, 2/11/2019


Selected Media Coverage

Secrets of 1946 Mass Lynching Could Be Revealed After Court Ruling

Court Upholds Order to Unseal Records in Brazen Lynching

Court: Release Georgia Lynching Case Transcripts

Appeals Court Orders Grand Jury Testimony Unsealed in the 1946 Case of the ‘Last Mass Lynching in America’

Ruling May Help Unlock Answers to Notorious 1946 “Moore’s Ford” Lynchings

Court orders secret transcripts released in 1946 case considered to be America’s last mass lynching

Court Upholds Order to Unseal Records in Brazen Lynching

NJ Lawyer Prevails in Unsealing Grand Jury Transcript in 1946 Lynching Case

With second court victory, Morris lawyer Joe Bell brings justice closer for victims of mass lynching

Unsolved mass lynching grand jury testimony set for release thanks to N.J. lawyer