U.S. Supreme Court won’t hear Joseph Duncan’s appeal

The United States Supreme Court has denied convicted killer Joseph Duncan’s petition to hear his appeal, Idaho’s U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced Wednesday.

The Court’s action, taken Monday, leaves in place Senior U.S. District Court Judge Edward Lodge’s December 2013 finding that Duncan was competent to waive his appeal, which had been affirmed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in March 2015. The three federal death sentences returned by a jury in August 2008 and imposed by Lodge also remain in place. No execution date has been set, and Duncan’s attorneys still may seek other post-conviction relief .

Duncan pleaded guilty in federal district court in Boise in December 2007 to a 10-count indictment charging him with various crimes related to the abduction of Coeur d’Alene children Shasta and Dylan Groene and the murder of Dylan. Three of the charges to which Duncan pleaded guilty made him eligible for the death penalty under federal law. Duncan was represented by a lawyer at his guilty plea, but chose to represent himself at the capital sentencing hearing.

Duncan also pleaded guilty in state court for the 2005 kidnapping and murders of the Groene children’s mother, older brother and mother’s boyfriend.