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Georgia Lynching Leads 11th Circuit to Rethink Grand Jury Secrecy

Appellate & Trial Support   |   Litigation and Trials   |   September 20, 2019

Carlton Fields appellate attorneys David Karp and Richard Ovelman were quoted in a Daily Business Review article, “Georgia Lynching Leads 11th Circuit to Rethink Grand Jury Secrecy,” regarding the recent U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit rehearing on whether federal judges have the authority to unseal grand jury transcripts in old cases of historical significance.

The case at the center of the rehearing involves an unsolved 1946 lynching of two African American couples in Georgia.

Historians, archivists, and other journalists have requested to unseal the grand jury transcripts, arguing that the case’s relevance to the civil rights movement and age should position it as an exception to keeping the grand jury transcripts secret.

“The Court’s inherent power to release grand jury records advances two core values — the need to inform the public about government conduct and the need to restore faith in the judiciary for communities whose confidence in the courts has been shattered,” Karp and Ovelman stated.

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