Joesph Duncan – Repeat Sex Offender – Needs Impartial Jury

Setting the stage for what will, no doubt, be a difficult hearing — potential jurors in the death sentence hearing for Joseph Duncan were asked today if they could bear watching video of a child being sadistically and sexually abused.

That is a tough question! One that many potential jurors grappled with today and one that Duncan, himself, weighed in on.

The videos in question were made by confessed killer Joseph Duncan.

In May of 2005, he randomly chose and killed a Coeur d’Alene family.

His initial victims were Brenda Groene, her fiancé Mark McKenzie and her oldest son, Slade.

Duncan has confessed to the murders and to kidnapping the family’s two youngest children, 9-year old Dylan, and then 8-year-old Shasta.

He took the children to a remote campsite in Montana, where he later killed Dylan and videotaped his heinous crimes.

Calling it “ugly evidence,” U.S. Attorney Tom Moss asked potential jurors if they could watch videotapes and images of the “very sadistic child sexual abuse of Dylan Groene.”

One would-be juror said he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. While he thought he could still be impartial, he was concerned about his ability to watch the videotapes.

Duncan came to the man’s defense. Acknowledging, “this video has the potential to victimize people,” said Duncan.

That potential juror and all but seven others were excused. Some for their inability to cope with the evidence, others who said they could never impose the death penalty and still others who said they could consider no other option than death for Duncan.

With seven potential jurors approved today — the total is now up to 40.

Nineteen more are needed before the selection process is narrowed even further to 12 jurors and three alternates.

Jury selection in this capital case will resume on Monday.

At the current pace, the hearing to determine whether Duncan lives or dies, could begin as early as next week.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”
………Sarah Tofte

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