Skip to comments.(Joseph) Duncan is eligible for death penalty, jury says; next phase begins Monday
Posted on 08/22/2008 1:04:25 PM PDT by Domandred
Joseph Duncan is eligible for the death penalty, a jury of eight men and four women found after just under two hours of deliberation.
The jury's decision today is the first part of the proceeding in which jurors will decide whether Duncan will die or spend the rest of his life in prison for the torture killing of 9-year-old Dylan Groene. Duncan pleaded guilty in December to 10 federal charges, three of which can carry the death penalty: kidnapping resulting in death, sexual exploitation of a child resulting in death, and using a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence resulting in death.
In this phase of the proceeding, jurors were to focus solely on whether Duncan is eligible for the death penalty. To be eligible, the jurors most agree unanimously on three points for each of those three federal charges: that the defendant was at least 18 years old when the crime occurred; that at least one intent factor is present that shows he intentionally committed the crimes and that at least one aggravating factor like the vulnerability of the victim or the cruel and heinous nature of the crime.
Now that the jury's determined he's eligible, jurors move to the final decision: whether he deserves it. In this phase, prosecutors will present evidence on victim impact and future dangerousness of the defendant, and the defense can, but doesn't have to, offer mitigating evidence to weigh the heinousness of the crime. Duncan has said he won't be presenting mitigating evidence.
The federal death sentence hearing, which began last Wednesday, is the culmination of a 2005 murderous crime spree that shook Coeur d'Alene and the Inland Northwest community. Two children missing. Their 13-year-old brother, mother and her boyfriend dead, bludgeoned to death with a hammer in their Wolf Lodge Bay home, just east of Coeur d'Alene. The three bodies were found, bound with zip ties and duct tape on May 15, 2005. Shasta was found more than six weeks later at the Coeur d'Alene Denny's with Duncan. Dylan's remains were recovered at a remote campsite in the Lolo National Forest in western Montana.
Duncan pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of first-degree kidnapping in an October 2006 plea agreement.
He was sentenced to three life sentences without parole for the kidnappings at the Wolf Lodge Bay home (the charges apply because the victims were bound) and, if the federal jury imposes the death sentence, will receive one fixed life sentences for the murders.
But should the jury opt for a life sentence, the state plea agreement allows for Duncan to return to Kootenai County and the state will hold its own death penalty trial.
The state of Idaho isn't the only jurisdiction that wants Duncan dead.
In January 2007, the Riverside County, Calif., district attorney's office charged Duncan with first-degree murder in connection with the 1997 rape and murder of 10-year-old Anthony Martinez. District Attorney Rob Pacheco has said he'll seek the death penalty. A fingerprint obtained after Duncan's July 2 arrest matched a partial print taken from duct tape used to bind Anthony.
Duncan's been linked to the 1996 slayings of two young half-sisters in Seattle, but no charges have been filed.
A laptop computer seized from his car following his 2005 arrest contains encrypted files the government hasn't yet cracked. Duncan wrote on an Internet blog in the weeks before the Groene murders that he kept a detailed journal that, once authorities figured out how to access, would reveal much more about him than his blog rantings.
He offered to give up the password in a proposed plea to the state charges that would have kept the state death penalty off the table, but the state turned it down in favor of the agreement that keeps the death penalty an option.
If the next phase is just as short we could have a final verdict (life in prison or execution) by the middle of next week if not sooner.
two hours is pretty amazing....
I don’t often hope someone rots, I hope he rots in hell - the sooner the better.
and then we can wait 20 years for him to actually BE executed...
with any luck he’ll die like Jeefrey Dahmer.
If it'sa Federal death sentence it'll happen mighty quick. Just ask Tim McVeigh.
Took ‘em two hours eh? They musta taken an hour out for lunch.
Makes you wonder what goes on behind those doors.
Never get out of prison or a belated ticket to Hell......all the same to me.
On a side note, I thought the level of disturbingly graphic detail provided by the Spokesman Review (separate article, print-subscription based only) of the video was in extremely poor taste. I would have compared it to a cheap supermarket tabloid except they have demonstrated more journalistic integrity than the rest of the press
it only probably took them 20 minutes to come to that decision. They probably spent the rest of the 2 hours playing cards, so it wouldn't look like they rushed the decision.
Too bad it won't take just 2 hours to execute this two-legged jackal.
Fry the Ba$tard! Lethal injection is too humane for him.
Wonder why it took so long?
(I remember what that creep did and the hunt for him.)
Joseph Duncan’s crimes were so horrible that I do not consider him a human being. There are other subhumans like him - Robert Williams of New York; Alejandro Avila; Reginald and Jonathan Carr. All of them deserve the death penalty.
Last week when this trial phase first started I mentioned in my thread that I wasn't going to post any more Duncan threads unless something truely newsworthy happened or a verdict was handed down.
I've read lots of disturbing articles since then and haven't posted a single one because it would be continuing to sensationalize Duncan's crimes.
Two articles were posted today at about the same time within 5 minutes of the verdict coming out, one from Spokesman Review and one from Idaho Statesman.
I selected this one as it didn't contain any graphic detail, where the Idaho Statesman one details were added where they didn't need to be added.
Idahoans are smart and down to earth. Should this scumbag goes free after a trial, he’ll be whacked on the streets within hours. Have this on good authority from son-in-law LEO who rather relishes the idea.
I have a theory about that type of reporting - and I’m sad to say there’s been a few posters around here that I’ve wondered about.
I believe they enjoy the details. I simply don’t believe the public at large needs to know the horrors, we all know Shasta survived and could have expected the same or worse treatment - I think it’s criminal to detail, knowing some pervert out there enjoys reading them.
I also can’t believe that law enforcement can’t get get a file open on a computer.