Idaho will likely very soon legalize execution by firing squad in cases when the state is unable to access lethal-injection drugs — the legislature approved the bill Monday with a veto-proof majority.
Recent reports have claimed that the man who was accused of brutally murdering four students from the University of Idaho may be one of the first people to face the state’s likely-to-come firing squads should he be convicted.
Execution by firing squad may soon be legal in Idaho, which means Bryan Kohberger, the man accused of murdering four University of Idaho students, could be among the first to face it if he’s convicted. The lawmaker who sponsored the bill joins @danabrams.#DanAbramsLive pic.twitter.com/OYpsHA4dN2
— NewsNation (@NewsNation) March 22, 2023
House Bill 186, which cleared the state’s Senate chamber in a 24-11 vote, grants officials the choice to call for an execution by firing squad, particularly in the case of lethal injection drugs not being available within five days of the issuance of a death warrant.
OANN reported that this bill comes at a time when there is a shortage of these drugs in the United States, with several states recently encountering difficulties in trying to receive the drugs. Many states have consequently halted executions, according to the outlet.
Idaho Republican Gov. Brad Little has spoken out on his support for the death penalty in the past, but typically does not opine on legislation prior to signing or vetoing it, reported Fox News.
Other states that currently allow for firing squads in the case of other methods not being viable include Mississippi, Utah, Oklahoma, and South Carolina.
Rep. Bruce Skaug (R-ID), who sponsored the bill, told Fox News about its status.
“H186 has now passed the Idaho Senate and House with a veto proof majority,” he explained. “Upon signature of the governor, the state may now more likely carry out justice, as determined by our judicial system, against those who have committed first degree murder. This is an important bill for victims, their families, and the rule of law.”
Some representatives of the state have expressed opposition to the bill, arguing this type of death sentence may bring trauma to those involved.
“I’ve seen the aftermath of shootings, and it’s psychologically damaging to anybody who witnesses it,” commented state Sen. Dan Forman (R-ID). “The use of the firing squad is, in my opinion, beneath the dignity of the state of Idaho.”
The state reportedly has eight people on death row. At least one of the inmates had his execution delayed by the state twice amidst a shortage of lethal injection drugs. The man was convicted of ending the lives of two people in 1985 and has been sentenced to the death penalty for almost 40 years.