By: Jason Walsh II
February 28, 2023:
Back in November of 2022, four students at the University of Idaho were tragically murdered in their off-campus home. The murders of these students sparked a six-week investigation searching for a suspect.
The murders were discovered when police were notified of the scene through a 911 call. The murders occurred on November 13th, 2022, in the apartment of three of the four victims. The victims were 20-year-old Xana Kernodle, 21-year-old Kaylee Goncalves, 21-year-old Madison Mogen, and 20-year-old Ethan Chaplin.
After an investigation at the scene, the coroner ruled that the four victims’ cause of death was homicide by stabbing. The police also stated that these murders were “a crime of passion” and “an isolated target and attack”.
In December of 2022, Pennsylvania State Police were able to match DNA from Bryan Kohbergers’ parent’s home to DNA found at the crime scene. Six weeks after the brutal murders, Pennsylvania State Police arrested Bryan Kohberger on December 30th, 2022. Kohberger was arrested in Monroe County, Pennsylvania for the murders of the four University of Idaho students.
Kohberger, 29 years old, is a college graduate and was currently attending Washington State University’s Ph.D. program for Criminal Justice and Criminology. Now Kohberger is awaiting trial and potentially facing the death penalty for the murders of the four students. Kohberger is facing homicide charges for the four murders from the Latah County court. He is awaiting his next hearing on June 26th, 2023.
Currently, the State of Idaho executes criminals convicted of capital offenses. However, Idaho’s last execution was in 2012, the reason for this is claimed that the state cannot obtain the chemicals for lethal injection. Idaho canceled the execution of a convicted man in 2022 for this reason. Now a bill introduced by Lawmaker Bruce Skaug proposes execution by firing squad if lethal injection is not available. This bill would continue to follow the state’s execution of convicts through lethal injection unless the execution is delayed by five days or more days after the death warrant is signed.
Currently, the proposed bill sits on the floor of the house in Idaho. Skaug argues that the bill is a necessity of Idaho’s justice system, “This is a rule of law issue: Our criminal system should work, and our penalty should be exacted”. A similar bill, execution by firing squad, sits in legislation in South Carolina, awaiting more information on the state’s ability to acquire lethal injection chemicals.
If this bill is passed in Idaho and Kohberger is convicted, he would be facing execution. The execution would be decided by the state’s department of corrections to either be carried out by lethal injection or firing squad if the chemicals are not available.
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