Bryan Kohberger could face a firing squad if he is convicted of killing the four Idaho University students last year. Kohberger, a 28-year-old criminal justice Ph.D. student, has been charged in the stabbing deaths of the University of Idaho students Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Ethan Chapin, 20, and Xana Kernodle, 20, on November 13.
Given the seriousness of Kohberger's alleged offenses, it appears likely that the prosecution will seek the death penalty for him. However, they have not yet made their plans and intentions clear. The likelihood of Kohberger facing a firing squad comes as a result of a new bill that may change several things for inmates facing the death penalty.
Punishment Could be Worse
Kohberger, if convicted of the quadruple murders, could face a firing squad now thanks to Rep. Bruce Skaug, a Republican state member, who has introduced a bill that would reinstate the use of the firing squad and lethal injection for capital punishment in the state.
The Idaho Department of Prisons must decide whether execution by lethal injection is an option no later than five days after a death warrant is obtained, according to Skaug's bill. If not, the proposal calls for the deployment of a firing squad.
Lethal injection is currently used in state executions.
Skaug, who believes firing squads are more merciful since they cannot be botched, submitted the law after state officials had to postpone an execution in November due to a lack of lethal injection chemicals, the site reported.
The measure merely states that the IDOC director would decide on the execution's protocols. The bill makes no mention of how many or what kind of firearms should be used.
Also, because of their inability to obtain the chemicals for lethal injection, other states like Utah have recently reinstated the use of a firing squad, he told the Idaho Capital Sun.
The Idaho House Judiciary, Rules, and Administration Committee, which Skaug heads, will now have a public hearing on the bill. Execution by firing squad was legal in Idaho from 1982 until 2009 when the Legislature made it illegal. The sole method of execution that was still permitted in the state was lethal injection.
But acquiring the chemicals used in lethal injection has become increasingly difficult.
A measure that grants anonymity to companies or pharmacies that provide fatal injection chemicals was approved by the Idaho State Assembly last year in the hopes that it will encourage more companies to do so.
However, the state still had to postpone Gerald Pizzuto Jr.'s execution because the chemicals weren't accessible, according to the East Idaho News.
Authorities claim that Kohberger stalked his victims for weeks before to the killings, and various DNA evidence has connected him to the crime scene.
According to the publication, the suspect, who has been charged with four counts of murder, is scheduled to enter a plea on June 26. Latah County likely has until the end of July to announce whether it will seek the death sentence.
Kohberger's friends described him as a once-obese, heroin-addicted bully in recent news interviews. He wanted desperately to be a cop, one friend remembered â even though he weighed more than 300 pounds at the time.
He then started obsessing over his weight to the point of being crazy. He started doing daily kickboxing and running. He also shed about half his body weight, but he also got an eating issue that required hospitalization.
Despite this, his friends had no idea he would someday be charged with the brutal quadruple homicide.