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Judge orders mental evaluation of Duncan

Joseph Duncan must undergo a mental evaluation before U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge will agree to let him act as his own attorney, the judge decided this morning. Lodge told the convicted killer and child molester that having observed his conduct in court several times, “I’m confident that you’re competent to make that waiver, but the record has to be a little bit more clear than that.”

Duncan told the judge, “I don’t have an issue with counsel personally. I think they are, like you’ve said many times, good counsel. It’s ideology. I don’t believe that they can ethically represent my ideology.”

Duncan, attired in yellow prison scrubs and with his hair grown long and an unkempt mustache and beard, didn’t explain what that ideology is. Lodge asked Duncan, “You’re not seeking any delay?” “Not at all,” Duncan replied. The judge noted, “If a delay was the purpose, it would be denied.”

He asked for three suggestions of local psychiatrists or psychologists who could evaluate Duncan, and said if appropriate evaluators can’t be found locally, the killer will have to be sent to Seattle for evaluation.

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Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.