Man Convicted Of Killing Idaho Family Has Terminal Cancer

Mar 8, 2021

A man convicted for the killing of a Kootenai County family has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.
Credit IDOC Booking photo

The man convicted of killing a Kootenai County family and abducting their children may never face the death penalty.

Joseph E. Duncan has been on death row for more than a decade, but may not survive to his execution date. Duncan, according to court filings, has been diagnosed with brain cancer.

According to a court documents filed in January, he has stage 4 brain cancer. Doctors estimate he has less than a year left to live.

Duncan was convicted and sentenced to death after killing an Idaho mother, her boyfriend, son and kidnapping her younger children, eventually killing one of them. He also confessed to killing two children in Washington and has also pleaded guilty to killing a child in California.

Duncan has appealed his sentence several times, but judges have repeatedly denied his requests to avoid the death penalty. According to court documents Duncan has declined chemotherapy and his doctor has discussed end of life preparations for him.