The Supreme Court May Hear Joseph Duncan's Appeals Case - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

The Supreme Court May Hear Joseph Duncan's Appeals Case

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  • Shasta Groene, Dylan Groene, Joseph Duncan III

    Shasta Groene, Dylan Groene, Joseph Duncan III

    Shasta & Dylan Groene - Missing Children - 2005Shasta & Dylan Groene - Missing Children - 2005
    In May of 2005 the Groene family of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho was changed forever. Joseph E. Duncan III brutally murdered Shasta and Dylan Groene's family and subsequently abducted and molested the two children over a period of six week. Shasta was seen several weeks later at a Denny's restaurant in Coeur d'Alene in the company of Joseph Duncan. Police were contacted and Duncan was then taken into custody. Duncan is on death row in federal prison.>>
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SPOKANE, Wash. - The standby counsel for Joseph Duncan has asked the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for a stoppage in proceedings in order to file a petition to have the US Supreme Court take a look at whether or not Duncan was competent to deny his right to appeal.
 
The 9th Circuit granted the stay for 90 days from Aug. 31 to give the standby council time to file the petition.

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PREVIOUS COVERAGE: (FROM JULY 11, 2011)

SPOKANE, Wash. - His crimes shocked a community and devastated a family. Joseph Duncan is accused of one of most horrific murder, torture and abuse cases in recent memory. He received three death penalties for the terror he inflicted, but now, word that his sentence might be in jeopardy.

In May 2005, Coeur d'Alene police found the bodies of Brenda Groene, her fiance Mark McKenzie and her son Slade Groene inside their home at Wolf Lodge. Noticeably missing was 9-year-old Dylan Groene and 8-year-old Shasta Groene. Coeur d'Alene Police later discovered that Duncan abducted the two, tortured both, and eventually killed Dylan.

Duncan was later discovered eating breakfast with Shasta at a Coeur d'Alene Denny's restaurant where he was arrested.

After a two year trial, Duncan was sentenced to three death penalties but as of Monday, that sentence is now in limbo.

Judges on the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that Duncan should have been given a competency hearing before he was allowed to waive his appeal in November 2008. Monday the Appellate Court put Duncan's death penalty sentence on hold and ordered the District Court to hold a new competency hearing.

Earlier reports said the Appellate Court judges had thrown out the death penalty altogether but that wasn't accurate. KHQ spoke with U.S Attorney Wendy Olson, in Idaho who was the Assistant U.S. Attorney during the Duncan trials. Olsen said if Duncan is found competent to stand trial the death penalty will stand.

It's important to note that Duncan has been found competent during other trials. What's still unclear is what happens if Duncan' is not found competent. At this point Olsen said that was a "moot point."

The issue sparked plenty of heated comments and controversy on the KHQ Facebook page. David wrote, "Wow this is unbelievable! People like Duncan are the reason for the death penalty!"

Melanie wrote, "Where is the justice?!!! What is wrong with this world!! Duncan is an evil man and he showed no mercy for that family!"

So far there is no court date set for that competency hearing.

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