Duncan's defense wants graphic video made public - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Duncan's defense wants graphic video made public

Joseph Edward Duncan III Joseph Edward Duncan III
BOISE, Idaho. - Defense lawyers for convicted child killer Joseph Edward Duncan III have asked a federal judge to make public a video that depicts Duncan torturing the child he later killed.
     
The defense team made the request in a motion filed Friday, siding with media organizations who have argued for greater openness in Duncan's death penalty proceedings.
     
Duncan, a convicted pedophile, pleaded guilty last year to 10 federal charges related to his 2005 kidnapping of two young siblings, Dylan and Shasta Groene, and the murder of Dylan. Three of the federal charges carry a potential death penalty, and it will be up to a jury to decide whether he gets the death penalty or life in prison without parole.
     
On Monday, U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge will hold a hearing to determine if Duncan should be allowed to represent himself.
     
In their motion on Friday, Duncan's lawyers asked that some of the most shocking evidence be made public - a video depicting the "sadistic sexual torture" of young Dylan Groene in a remote
cabin. Duncan's attorneys contend that showing the video to the jury in a closed courtroom would violate the First Amendment free speech rights as well as Duncan's Sixth Amendment right to a public trial.
     
The defense team also contends that if prosecutors really want the video kept out of public view, they should consider just giving the jury transcripts of the video or showing still images from the tape.
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