Jury selection ruling issued in Duncan Case - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Jury selection ruling issued in Duncan Case

Joseph Edward Duncan III Joseph Edward Duncan III

BOISE, Idaho. - According to court documents, convicted killer Joseph Duncan has the option to request that his standby counsel conduct the jury selection in the penalty phase of the federal case.

Also on KHQ.com

- Duncan's standby counsel want no part in jury selection
- Judge says Duncan can represent himself in death penalty hearing
- Court rules Duncan mentally competent

Duncan's standby counsel maintains that conducting the jury selection on behalf of Duncan would encroach on his right to self-representation.

In a handwritten letter to U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge, Duncan maintains his right to excuse potential jurors selected by his standby counsel as he is proceeding in the case pro se and  still in control of his defense.

Court documents state if, as the jury selection proceeds, Duncan becomes dissatisfied with the examination of standby counsel, he can request that he be allowed to conduct the selection as to eliminate any claims of ineffective assistance of counsel. Regardless of who conducts the jury selection for the defense, Duncan must either approve or object to passing each particular juror for the case.

Earlier this year, Duncan asked the court to allow him to represent himself. Lodge granted the request last week, making Duncan's defense team standby counsel to assist him with any legal
questions.
     
Duncan pleaded guilty to 10 counts in December related to the 2005 kidnapping of Dylan and Shasta Groene and the slaying of Dylan. The children were snatched from their Coeur d'Alene home and taken to Montana where they were abused.

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