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Death Penalty

Attys Ask for One More Year of Trial Prep

Posted Oct 5, 2007 6:50 AM CDT
By Molly McDonough

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Attorneys representing triple murderer Joseph Duncan in Idaho have asked for a one-year delay to prepare for his federal death penalty trial.

The case already has been moved from July to January. But attorneys for Duncan say they need much more time because a lead attorney stepped down and investigators didn't start interviewing witnesses until June, according to the Spokesman Review.

Duncan could get the death penalty if convicted on charges related to the kidnapping of Dylan and Shasta Groene. Duncan, who is serving a life sentence, already admitted to killing the children's mother, Brenda Matthews Groene, 13-year-old Slade Groene and Mark McKenzie at a home east of Coeur d'Alene.

The federal defender handling the case, Roger Peven, stepped aside from the case for personal reasons, the paper reports. In his place has come Judy Clarke, well known for her defense of the "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski and Susan Smith, who left her two boys to drown in a car she drove into a South Carolina lake.

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