A memorial tombstone for Mae Murray Dorsey, one of four African American victims slain in the 1946 Moore’s Ford lynching, is at Zion Hill Cemetery in Monroe, Ga. (CURTIS COMPTON / STAFF)
But the full 11th Circuit court, in a 94-page opinion, said the grand jury serves as a buffer between the government and the people.
“The ability of the grand jury to serve this purpose depends upon maintaining the secrecy of its proceedings,” Senior Judge Gerald Tjoflat wrote for the majority. “The long-established policy of upholding the secrecy of the grand jury helps to protect the innocent accused from facing unfounded charges, encourages full and frank testimony on the part of witnesses and prevents interference with the grand jury’s deliberations.”
Pitch passed away last year, but the 11th Circuit granted a motion to substitute his widow, Marion Pitch, because the family wants to continue his research.
Joe Bell, the family’s lawyer, said he will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case on behalf of the Pitches and the Moore’s Ford victims. “I may have been knocked down, but I’m not knocked out,” he said Monday.