Monday, December 05, 2005

Pedophile released, county sued

Rambix has posted fairly extensively on the shameful negligence of the court in the matter of pedophile murderer Joseph Edward Duncan III. Now the estates of two victims of this pervert are suing Becker County, MN for releasing this animal into society, despite his depraved background: "MN County Sued Over Joseph Duncan's Release".

(AP) Spokane, Wash. The estates of two people allegedly killed by Joseph Edward Duncan III sued Becker County, Minn., Monday for releasing the registered sex offender a few weeks before Brenda Groene and Mark McKenzie were slain in their Idaho home. Authorities contend Duncan killed the couple so he could kidnap Shasta Groene, 8, and Dylan Groene, 9, for sex. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Idaho, contends Becker County was negligent in releasing Duncan on just $15,000 bail on a child molestation charge, and negligent in not monitoring him closely.
Prior Rambix posts on this case:

Evil personified?

Duncan's reign of terror mounts [This post also has numerous sub-links]

While Rambix greatly appreciates the societal benefits of governmental immunity, this matter is egregious to the extent an exception should be made. The case was filed in federal court, which in part is probably an end-around the liberal state judges in Minnesota. And like much federal litigation, there is a greater chance of serious people making thoughtful decisions than at the state level. Of course, that is subject to many variables.

Duncan, a Tacoma native who spent much of his adult life in prison for raping a boy, had lived in Fargo, N.D., since his release from prison in 2000.

According to the lawsuit, Duncan was arrested and later charged with child molestation in the case of a 6-year-old boy in Detroit Lakes, Minn. At a hearing on April 5, 2005, Duncan was released when a friend put up the $15,000 bail set by Becker County Judge Thomas Schroeder.

"It was foreseeable that Duncan would commit additional criminal acts once released," the lawsuit said.

He checked in twice with a probation officer. Then on April 15, 2005, he rented a Jeep and jumped bail.
This is the consequence of even those judges who may fancy themselves conservatives making negligent decisions, typically in favor of the criminal. Why is it so hard to make decisions that favor the victims?

Much anger was also directed at Schroeder, who set the bail amount, and Becker County Assistant Prosecutor Michael Fritz. He had requested $25,000 bail, an amount his boss later said was low considering Duncan's history of violent sexual attacks on children. A transcript showed Schroeder was told during the hearing that Duncan was a convicted sex offender, but not that he was a Level 3 offender, those considered most likely to commit more crimes. Schroeder said he didn't know Duncan was a Level 3 offender.
The saga continues.