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Idaho Judge Rejects Duncan’s Closed Competency Hearing

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A federal judge has rejected a request that the courtroom be closed for part of a convicted murderer’s mental competency hearing. The Idaho Statesman reported U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge made the ruling Thursday morning in the competency hearing of Joseph Edward Duncan III. An appellate court ordered the hearing to help Lodge determine if Duncan was mentally competent back in 2008, when he gave up his right to appeal his death sentence for the 2005 kidnapping of two northern Idaho children and the murder of one of them. Duncan’s attorneys wanted some testimony from Duncan’s former lawyers kept secret, saying it could harm the attorney-client relationship they have with Duncan and scare off current and future clients.

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