Transcript: Duncan makes closing arguments against death penalty - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Transcript: Duncan makes closing arguments against death penalty

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BOISE, Idaho - Convicted killer Joseph Duncan has made his closing arguments in the eligibility phase of his death penalty trial. His statements amounted largely to a killer's confession.

The judge interrupted Duncan several times to remind him he must make an argument regarding the evidence, and advised him to speak with his standby counsel.

The jury will now decide whether Duncan is eligible for the death penalty. If they find that he is, the second phase of his sentencing hearing will begin.

Excerpts from Duncan's closing argument against eligibility for the death penalty:

Joseph Duncan:
"Sorry I don't have something as well prepared as the government has accomplished. I would like to fill in as best as I can for the jury what happened.
 
You people don't really have any clue yet of the true heinousness of what I have done. So within the parameters of this statement I will try to fill you in to the details of the evidence of what has been presented.

I was not searching for a child. I was on a rampage. My intention wasn't to kidnap a child, but to kidnap and rape until I was killed. Waypoints were targets, daycare centers, homes, were all targets.

Previous Coverage

- Prosecution & defense rest in Duncan case; closing arguments set to begin
-
Jurors shown Duncan's torture videotape
-Expert says Duncan's shotgun wouldn't accidentally fire
- Jury hears disturbing letter from Duncan to his mother
- Duncan Sentencing: Police interview with Shasta played in court

I also had just as meticulous plans for many other crimes. I approached all of these things as obstacles and accounted for them and prepared for them.

I stated in my journal entry that following the jeep was too risky. This was an example of the variety of my plans. I wasn't focused on one type of crime, I was on a rampage. Yes, revenge was certainly putting it lightly.

Since when has rape ever been about sex? I always assumed since my research on the topic that rape is about power and control, or a perceived loss of control.
 
I was on a rampage. I hated myself and I hated you. I hated everything that you represent. I hated the system.

(At this point the judge interrupted Duncan, reminding him that must argue evidence, not testify.)

I knew that the best way to hurt you was to hurt you like I was hurt. Know that it was no accident. I told SG [Shasta Groene] that it was an accident merely to win her compliance.

This is not a confession. My confession was a long time ago. My argument, essentially your honor, is no argument.

I'm just trying to be dramatic like the governement. If anyone asks me I have always said that I killed him intentionally since my arrest.

...

As I was saying before we took our break... The evidence has indicated that I claimed to have shot accidentally. The evidence really doesn't show that. And in conjunction with that evidence I wanted to point out that everyone tends to lie to children, not something that should be considered to weigh upon my own honesty.

The evidence consistently shows that I have been honest and forthcoming. My financial records my journal entry's nothing has been contradicted. Everything that has been presented before has shown that and I think that is important.

Previous Coverage

- Groene shares letters from children; Duncan questions FBI agent
- Jury selected; opening statements made in Duncan murder sentencing
- Judge closes court during Duncan victim testimony
- Duncan's standby counsel want no part in jury selection
- Court rules Duncan mentally competent


To support that I would like to point out that the videotape that was shown of Capt Mattos interviewing SG in the hospital where he lies to SG. Im just simply pointing out what he did was for a reason and that supports what I am saying. I don't think that you should weigh the fact that I lied to SG as an indication of my own character.

The government has indicated based on the evidence, that the letter that was written by DG to SG in relation to the cabin incident and with other evidence the mapping and tracking stuff, they were trying to show that I had no intention of bringing the children home. And I didn't. And I think it is pretty clear that I didn't but for some reason that changed and I think the evidence supports that also.

The government referred to my cross of Dr. Cooper. They indicated that my cross investigation implied that SG's testimony was elaborated. I was simply trying to get her to acknowledge that there are other possibilities.

I felt that the truth was more important, is the most important thing here.

I will wrap this up and thank the government for giving me my "eye for an eye," for showing and telling you about my rampage and revenge, helping me take away your hearts and innocence. Im just saying the evidence shows that that is what has been done.

But I won't. Because despite that, the evidence and my hatred of my journal entries and actions, and despite the heinousness of my crimes and the sickness and the insanity, the evidence shows clearly that completely contrary to my life experiences, that something happened and that is why I am here.

Not because I was caught but because an 8-year old girl didn't judge me and I saw the truth."

Excerpt from the proseuction's rebuttal:

Prosecution:
"Nothing Mr. Duncan has said changes the fact that the evidence shows Mr. Duncan is eligible to be put to death. The U.S. asks that you find Mr. Duncan eligible for the death penalty on counts 1, 5, and 7."

After these statements the judge separated the three alternate jurors that had been purposely mixed in with the jury, and sent the jury to the jury room.

During the prosecution's arguments, Prosecutor Wendy Olson explained to the jury the aggravating factors in this case that make Duncan eligible to be put to death.|

Olson called the Lolo National Forest a place of "majestic beauty" and a "place of unfathomable and un-comparable horror and cruelty." As she described all this pictures of the children flashed on the screen in the courtroom.

While pointing to Duncan, Olson told the court, "this mans conduct renders him eligible for a sentence of death under federal law." Olson described Shasta Groene's statements as "amazingly and heroically accurate."

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