Judge: Courtroom stays open for Duncan hearing

A federal judge in Idaho has rejected a request that the courtroom be closed for part of convicted murderer Joseph Duncan’s mental competency hearing.

U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge made the ruling Thursday in the hearing at the federal courthouse in Boise.

An appellate court ordered the hearing to help Lodge determine whether Duncan was mentally competent 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.  (AP)

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