Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Joseph Edward Duncan: Opening Arguments in Death Penalty Phase Begin

A jury was empaneled and prosecutors presented their opening arguments in Duncan's death penalty hearing today. Duncan is representing himself at this hearing and it is speculated that his defense will be silence; that he will not present any counter-argument as to why the jury should spare his life for the brutal 2005 slayings of four individuals of the Groene family, living in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. During that killing spree, Duncan kidnapped the two youngest, 8 year-old Shasta Groene and Dylan Groene, 9. On the run, Duncan took the children to a remote area of Montana where he raped and tortured them and later killed fourth victim, Dylan. Shasta was rescued in a Denny's restaurant when Duncan returned with her to Coeur d'Alene.

This was a horrific case to follow when it first hit the news and I was deeply affected by what happened to this family. There was a large outpouring of love and support from the general public for Shasta when she was found, with many people sending her gifts and toys, myself included. I made her a fleece and flannel throw blanket with cartoon cats on it.



Anonymous said...

I remember this case vividly and didn't realize it was already in trial. Wasn't it a young waitress who notified police upon recognizing Shasta? I wonder how that poor little child is? Did she go to live with relatives? That was so thoughtful and sweet of you to send her a fleece that you made - you are always thinking of others. I hope this guy gets the max penalty for what he did.
Kitty M.

Sprocket said...

You are correct Kitty M., it was a waitress who recoginized Shasta and saved her from certain death.

At the time, I just wanted to do something for this child. IIRC, Shasta's father is still alive and she lives with him.

This is the penalty phase of his conviction, and Duncan could get death.