Tuesday, July 05, 2005

My thoughts on the situation in Idaho...

I am not going to defend Joseph Duncan, what happened to those children is horrible and whomever committed these crimes is a monster. I am, however, a believer in our criminal justice system which requires all persons be considered innocent until proven guilty.

There has been a lot of talk about the situation in Idaho. My prayers go out to the children and their family. I hope they recover Dylan and I hope Shasta heals well. Dylan and Shasta Groene were taken from their home in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho on the 15th of May. Their mother, Brenda Groene, her brother Slade and her boyfriend Mark McKenzie were brutally murdered, presumably by whomever kidnapped Dylan and Shasta.

The children were added to several missing children websites, lists and the Amber alert system.

Enter Joseph Duncan, 42 years old and a Computer Science student. Duncan was convicted at the age of 16 for the sexual assault of a 14 year old boy, Duncan assaulted him at gun-point. Duncan served 14 years of a 20 year sentence and was released in 1994. In 1997 he was arrested for parole violation and spent additional time in jail until he was released without parole or probation in July of 2000. Later in July of 2000, Duncan moves to Fargo, ND and registers with the local authorities as a sexual predator, as is required by law. After notifying the public, Duncan stayed out of the limelight until he was accused of molestation in Minnesota. He was released on bail.

Duncan was very recently apprehended and charged with kidnapping Shasta and Dylan. Whether he murdered their family waits to be seen. However, what is undeniable is that Duncan was found with Shasta in a public place in her hometown.

From his blog:
"I believe he wished to be caught, either as a way of stopping himself or as a way of placing the spot light on his actions. In his blog, which was written erratically, he wrote "As far as "taking people with me" well, I don't know if that is right or wrong," which insinuates that he was possibly considering drastic action. Of course, this should be left for speculation. His blog allows deep insight into his very troubled mind.

What I find most troubling is the number of comments which border on death threats. This man is deeply, deeply troubled, and deserves years of pyschiatric care. The act is despicable, and he should be locked up forever if guilty, but he requires help nonetheless. Disagree if you wish, but his blog is a cry for help, even if he is a monster."

His Blog
His criminal Record In Fargo, ND