Idaho Governor Signs Bill to Allow Execution By Firing Squad

Republican Idaho Gov. Brad Little has signed a bill to allow executions by firing squad.

Idaho is now the fifth state in the nation to allow this form of capital punishment, but Utah is currently the only state that has used it in the last four decades.

The bill had passed through the Idaho legislature on March 20 with a veto-proof majority.

In a letter to state House Speaker Mike Moyle, also a Republican, the governor wrote, “throughout my life in public service, I have supported capital punishment when our justice system determines death is the only appropriate sentence for a person who committed a heinous crime. The families of the victims deserve justice for their loved ones and the death penalty is a way to bring them peace.”

There has long been a shortage of the chemicals needed for legal lethal injection. One execution was already delayed in the state due to inability to acquire it.

“I am signing House Bill 186 because I support policies that allow the state of Idaho to successfully carry out the death penalty,” Gov. Little continued. “It is the same reason I signed House Bill 658 in 2022, legislation to help the state acquire the chemicals necessary to perform lethal injection. I have not given up on the state’s ability to acquire the chemicals, and I believe the bill I signed into law last year helped expand options that would not have been available without it.”

The governor continued, “while I am signing this bill, it is important to point out that fulfilling justice can and must be done while minimizing stress on corrections personnel.”

“For the people on death row, a jury convicted them of their crimes, and they were lawfully sentenced to death,” the letter concluded. “It is the responsibility of the State of Idaho to follow the law and ensure that lawful criminal sentences are carried out.”

The Hill reports, “the bill Little signed Friday directs the director of the Idaho Department of Corrections to determine within five days of a death warrant being issued whether lethal injection is available. If the director does not certify that it is available, fails to file a certification or determines that it is not available, a firing squad will be used.”

Former President Donald Trump recently made headlines for his support of using firing squads for executions.

Fox News notes that “the newly legalized execution method could impact the state’s eight current death row inmates and possibly the future of student stabbings suspect Bryan Kohberger.”

Kohberger could face the death penalty if convicted of any of his first-degree murder charges for the deaths of Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle.


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