U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge has issued an order setting a hearing for Monday morning on killer Joseph Duncan’s appeal of his death sentence, to determine whether Duncan is actually appealing or not.
Though his standby attorneys filed a notice of appeal on Monday, federal prosecutors objected and said Duncan didn’t want to appeal, and only he can make that call. Duncan himself then sent a letter to the court saying an appeal was “contrary to my wishes.”
Lodge said he was scheduling the hearing “in order to preserve Mr. Duncan’s right to appeal, should he desire to exercise it.” The hearing will determine whether or not Duncan is knowingly and voluntarily choosing to act as his own lawyer, as he did during his federal capital sentencing trial; whether or not he gave permission for his lawyers to file an appeal; and whether or not he’s waiving his right to appeal.
Duncan has been sentenced to death three times over for the murder of 9-year-old Dylan Groene in 2005, which came as part of Duncan’s murderous attack against the Groene family that left four people dead. Only 8-year-old Shasta Groene survived.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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