One week ago yesterday, the Supreme Court announced its decision not to hear Seale’s appeal on the statute of limitations issue. Justices Scalia and Stevens dissented, arguing in essence that the matter was important, affected other cases, and should be heard and decided once and for all.
So Seale remains in jail, and no one knows what to do about the two dozen other cases. If you investigate and prosecute, you could spend all the time and resources, get a conviction, only to see it later overturned. Or you may wait and decide to see what the Court eventually does on the issue, which could take a couple of years, and meanwhile witnesses and defendants die and cases grow even colder.
The urgency of the matter apparently meant nothing to the seven other justices. They simply didn’t want to hear the case, apparently wary of setting a precedent that would end up overloading their docket.
So administrative, procedural concerns seem once again to have outweighed concerns that justice, however delayed, be done once and for all the victims of these old race murders.
There may be some truth to the adage that justice is too important a matter to be left to the lawyers.