Appeals Court Declines Request to Unseal Grand Jury Records of 1946 Lynching of Two Young Black Couples In Georgia

Grand jury records of a 1946 Georgia lynching case will not be released despite their historical significance, according to a federal appeals court in Atlanta.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned rulings from 1984 and 2017 — as well as a ruling in 2019 by three of its own members — Friday, March 27, to say that federal judges could not detour from guidelines in protecting grand jury secrecy. It was an 8-4 decision.

Joe Bell, who has been fighting to solve the nation’s last mass lynching, said he plans to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“I may have suffered a knockdown, but I’m not knocked out,” said the Morris County attorney who has been working pro bono for nearly six years with hopes of discovering who ambushed and murdered two black couples said.

Roger and Dorothy Malcom were riding in a car with George and Mae Murray Dorsey on July 25, 1946, when a mob of white males stopped them at Moore’s Ford Bridge, located in Walton and Oconee counties.

The mob dragged the Black couples to a nearby dirt road by the edge of the Apalachee River and shot them, according to The Associated Press.

In December 1946 the case was brought before a federal grand jury. More than 100 testimonials had been collected by FBI but no one was indicted.

The slayings caused large protests in Washington, D.C., and New York City.

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Source: Atlanta Black Star