Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Joseph Edward Duncan III


Judge David B. Downing
Judge David B. Downing

Following the sentencing hearing, Joseph Edward Duncan III, shackled in chains with his arms crossed in front of him, was sentenced by Judge Downing to two consecutive life prison terms without the possibility of parole in the Anthony Martinez case.

"I can say in my 31 years being involved in the criminal justice system, I've never met a more evil person than Joseph Duncan," Downing said.

In addition to Duncan's three death sentences, the two life terms meted by Downing brought Duncan's total life sentences to 11. The sentence was, in part, the result of several special circumstance allegations including kidnapping, torture, committing lewd acts on a minor, and having been convicted of prior murders being considered.

"It would be ridiculous to even attempt to think that in any way, shape or form that he had any type of remorse," Anthony's mother said after sentence was passed.

Downing ordered Duncan removed from the courtroom and sent back to the maximum security federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind., where he will eventually be executed. According to the plea deal in California, Duncan waived his right to appeal his conviction in that state, and was ordered to pay $7,000 to Anthony's family to cover the cost of the child's funeral.

In the meantime, it remains to be seen whether Duncan will be charged and tried in any of the other murders he is suspected of having committed.


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