Huckleberries Online

Judge Orders Duncan Hearing Open

A federal judge has rejected a request that the courtroom be closed for part of a convicted murderer’s mental competency hearing. The Idaho Statesman reported U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge made the ruling today in the competency hearing of Joseph Edward Duncan III. An appellate court ordered the hearing to help Lodge determine if Duncan was mentally competent in 2008, when he gave up his right to appeal his death sentence for the 2005 kidnapping of two northern Idaho children and the murder of one of them. Attorneys for Duncan asked the judge earlier this month to close the courtroom for some testimony from Duncan’s former lawyers, or to hear the testimony in a private location. The defense team said the lawyers were best able to talk about Duncan’s mental status back in 2008 because they had more contact with him than any experts did at the time/Associated Press. More here.

Question: Do you agree/disagree with judge's decision to keep Duncan's competency hearing open?

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D.F. Oliveria
Dave Oliveria writes the Huckleberries Online Blog for North Idaho readers and the Huckleberries print column.

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