U.S. Attorney for Idaho Wendy Olson said in a statement, “Since his arrest in July 2005, Joseph Edward Duncan, III, has been found competent by every court or jury to have considered the issue. He has three times pleaded guilty to murder charges or offenses resulting in death, each time with the assistance of counsel. At the time of his guilty pleas in October 2006 in Kootenai County, Idaho, December 2007 in federal district court in Boise and March 2011 in Riverside County, California, none of Duncan’s counsel asserted in court that Duncan was incompetent to enter a guilty plea. After Duncan was sentenced to death in U.S. District Court in Idaho, he was transferred to Riverside County, California, to face state charges in connection with the 1997 murder of a 10-year-old boy. Both a jury and the presiding judge found that Duncan was competent to proceed in that case. Throughout the federal court proceedings in the District of Idaho, the United States Attorney’s Office took the position that Duncan was competent.”
“The United States Attorney’s Office will participate in the retrospective competency hearing, as directed by the distinguished judges who serve on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. No hearing date has yet been set.” You can read her full statement here.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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