According to a witness, Joseph Edward Duncan III shot the child in the head after accidentally shooting him in the stomach. Dr. Sharon Cooper, a forensic physician, testified the abdominal wound would have produced excruciating pain. The boy's sister, Shasta, described the gruesome physical description of the wound. While Duncan may have had time to get Dylan Groene to a hospital, so what! A videotaped interview of Shasta Groene, 8 , described how she and her brother were raped by Duncan. In December, Duncan pleaded guilty to the 2005 kidnapping of the Coeur d'Alene-area children and the murder of the boy. Duncan also pleaded guilty to murdering the family members.
The children were kidnapped in May 2005. Duncan killed Brenda Groene (their mother); Slade Groene (their 13-year-old brother); and Mark McKenzie (their mother's fiance.)
Duncan, acting as his own attorney in the sentencing phase, suggested in cross-examining Cooper that the girl was exaggerating her brother's injury.
Is this another example of how prison reform fails? Duncan has a history of arrests and convictions which include rape and molestation. He also a suspect in the murder of two half-sisters from Seattle in 1996 and a 1997 murder of a young boy in Riverside County, California.
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Are we at the point where we can officially declare attempts at prison reform to be a dead issue?
Update 8-25-08: On Friday a federal jury found Joseph Edward Duncan III eligible for the death penalty for the 2005 kidnapping, torture and murder of 9-year-old Dylan Groene.