Thursday, October 12, 2006

Confession, encryption key rejected

Yesterday it was revealed that Joseph Duncan had made an offer to Kootenai County prosecutors on October 4th to admit to the murders of Brenda and Slade Groene and Mark McKenzie, the kidnapping of Shasta and Dylan Groene and the murder of Dylan. He also offered the pass key for his encrypted journal!

These confessions were offered in exchange for a sentence of life without parole in the State of Idaho case. The confessions made in this case, however, would likely bring a death sentence in the Federal case, for which charges have yet to be made.

Recall that this "encrypted journal" allegedly contains information about other crimes Joseph Duncan may have committed. In his Blogging the Fifth Nail blog entry dated May 13, 2005- just a couple days before the Wolf Lodge slayings and kidnapping of the two youngest children, he wrote:

I wish I could be more honest about my feelings, but those demons made sure I'd never be able to do that. I might not know if it matters, but just in case, I am working on an encrypted journal that is hundreds of times more frank than this blog could ever be (that's why I keep it encrypted). I figure in 30 years or more we will have the technology to easily crack the encryption (currently very un-crackable, PGP) and then the world will know who I really was, and what I really did, and what I really thought.

Kootenai County Prosecutor Bill Douglas rejected the offer. Melissa Luck from Spokane's KXLY reports on this surprising development here. Also watch her interview with Federal Public Defender Roger Peven here.

More information on this offer and Prosecutor Bill Douglas' rejection from the Spokesman-Review's Taryn Brodwater here. A copy of the plea offer is also available for viewing in the Spokesman-Review's excellent documents section.


Neantaeus said...

Is there any word on whether or not the journals have already been decrypted?

Capt. Fantastic said...

Hiya Neantaeus-

Nope. No definitive word on that, yet it is quite improbable that they would have been decrypted, from what is known of PGP.

Watch the Video interview from KXLY for a better feel on the defense's stance. ;)

Terri said...

I am completely blown away that a prosecutor would put Shasta through a trial. And also a chance to solve other crimes, probably brutal crimes against children.

I mean he would probably still get death in the federal case.

Neantaeus said...

Okay, I just watched the video and now I'm really pissed. Did I hear Duncan's attorney admit that he (the attorney) had the Duncan's enryption keys? And did I also hear him say that by offering to plead guilty Duncan was "reaching out the families?"

If that attorney has reason to blieve that his client is concealing other crimes in those encrypted files and he has the means to discover them, how does he sleep at night? I suppose his first responsibility as an attorney is to his client,but what about his responsibility as a citizen? Oh, never mind.