A federal appeals court has upheld the conviction of a reputed Ku Klux Klan member accused in the kidnapping of two black men who were abducted and killed in rural Mississippi in 1964.

In a two-to-one ruling, the panel of judges said the evidence in the case against James Ford Seale was sufficient for the jury conviction in the 2007 trial. Friday's decision came from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in New Orleans.

The judge who dissented said too much time had elapsed to try Seale in the decades-old case and that incriminating statements Seale made should have been barred from his trial.

The victims in the case, Charles Moore and Henry Dee, were kidnapped, beaten and thrown, possibly still alive, into a Mississippi River backwater.