JUDGE: Duncan Can Be Examined By Government Expert
BOISE, Idaho (AP) - A federal judge says prosecutors can have their own psychiatrist interview a convicted child killer as they fight to prove he was competent when he waived his right to appeal his death sentence.
But U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge says that doesn't mean he'll necessarily allow the prosecutors present any of the expert's findings in court.
Joseph Edward Duncan III was sentenced to death in 2008 after admitting he kidnapped and tortured two northern Idaho children and killed one of them. He gave up his appeals, but his former attorneys appealed on his behalf, and an appellate court said Lodge must determine whether Duncan was mentally competent back in 2008 when he waived his rights.
If Lodge finds Duncan wasn't competent at the time, his death sentence could be jeopardized.
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