Death penalty hearings for Joseph Duncan, the convicted killer and child molester, have been delayed yet again, as the court wrestles with the issue of Duncan’s competency to waive his right to an attorney. When Duncan asked to jettison his legal team and instead act as his own lawyer, U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge ordered an evaluation to confirm the defendant’s mental competency. After receiving that review under seal, Lodge ordered a further evaluation. Now, the court announced today, “The evaluator has requested a second extension of time in order to complete a proper review of the large volume of material submitted in this case. The Court has granted this request and directed the pool of potential jurors to call back again on July 21, 2008 for further instructions. Following completion of the competency evaluation, the Court will consider the motions that are currently under advisement in this matter.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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