NYT calls for courts to release secret grand jury records in 1946 Georgia lynching

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tags: racism, lynching

“The best people in town won’t talk,” a Georgia state trooper said after the white citizens of Walton County, embracing the Jim Crow code, pleaded ignorance about the mob that murdered two African-American couples in 1946, shooting them numerous times at point-blank range. 

President Harry Truman ordered an extensive F.B.I. investigation of this horror, known as the Moore’s Ford Bridge lynching, America’s last mass lynching. More than 100 people were summoned to a grand jury that failed to indict anyone in the deaths of George W. Dorsey, his wife, Mae Murray Dorsey, and Roger and Dorothy Malcom (sometimes spelled Malcolm). The murders, like virtually all lynchings, remain unsolved.

The grand jury records were presumed lost until last year, when the historian Anthony Pitch located them in the National Archives and persuaded a federal judge in Georgia to order them unsealed. Thejudge ruled, in accordance with precedent, that the testimony was of broad public interest and presented no threat to suspects and grand jurors, all of whom are thought to be dead.

Read entire article at NYT

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