Bryan Kohberger, the criminology Ph.D. candidate suspected of fatally stabbing four University of Idaho students last November, may face execution by firing squad if convicted. A measure filed this week passed the Idaho state assembly.
On Wednesday, Republican state Rep. Bruce Skaug submitted House Bill 186, which would create execution by firing squad as an alternative to lethal injection.
Like numerous other states, Idaho has failed to get the components for lethal injections in recent years, causing the state to cancel the execution of a man who killed two gold prospectors in 1985 last year.
Skaug’s measure requires the head of the Idaho Department of Prisons to certify if lethal injection is available within five days of issuing a death warrant. If lethal injection is not an option, the death row convict will be killed by the firing squad.
Because of its own issues with fatal injections, Utah reinstated firing squads in 2015. Idaho legalized the practice until 2009 when it was outlawed.
Kohberger, a 28-year-old Washington State University Ph.D. student, reportedly broke into a house near the University of Idaho in the early morning of Nov. 13 and stabbed four students.
A probable cause affidavit released soon after Kohberger’s arrest in late December revealed the evidence against him, including the discovery of his DNA on a knife sheath left at the site.
Without bond, he is being detained at the Latah County Prison in Moscow, Idaho. If convicted on four charges of first-degree murder and criminal burglary, he risks the death sentence.
Kohberger has yet to make a plea and is scheduled to appear in court on June 26.
Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin were all undergraduate students at the University of Idaho when they were killed.
Kaylee’s father, Steve Goncalves, told Fox News last month that he hopes Kohberger receives the death sentence.
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“I want this case to develop stronger and stronger until he knows he’s not going to be on the world that long,” Goncalves said.