THE NEW YORK POST
Bryan Kohberger could face a firing squad if convicted of killing four college students in Idaho.
Kohberger, 28, a criminal-justice doctoral student, has been charged in the Nov. 13 stabbing deaths of University of Idaho students Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Ethan Chapin, 20 and Xana Kernodle, 20.
Prosecutors have not said whether they plan to pursue the death penalty against Kohberger if he is convicted, but it is certainly possible considering the heinous crime.
Enter GOP state lawmaker Rep. Bruce Skaug.
Skaug, chairman of the state House Judiciary, Rules and Administration Committee, last week introduced a bill that would bring back the firing squad as a legal form of execution in Idaho, according to the East Idaho News.
State executions currently involve lethal injection.
Skaug’s bill says state Department of Correction officials must determine if lethal injection is available no more than five days after the issuance of a death warrant, the Idaho outlet said. If not, a firing squad would be used, according to the proposal.
Skaug — who said he believes firing squads are more humane because they cannot be botched — introduced the bill after state officials had to cancel a scheduled execution in November because they could not find lethal injection chemicals, the outlet said.
Other states, such as Utah, have brought back firing squads for similar reasons.
Death by firing squad was legal in Idaho from 1982 to 2009, when it was banned.
The Idaho State Legislature passed a bill last year that provides anonymity to companies or pharmacies that provide lethal-injection chemical in the hopes that it would spur more companies to provide them.
But the state still had to cancel the scheduled execution of Gerald Pizzuto Jr. in November because the chemicals weren’t available, the East Idaho News said.
Kohberger allegedly stalked his victims for weeks before the murders, and a variety of DNA evidence has linked him to the crime scene, officials have said.
The suspect, who has been charged with four counts of murder, is expected to enter a plea June 26, the outlet said. Latah County will probably have until the end of July to announce its intention to pursue the death penalty.
Kohberger’s friends recently remembered him in news interviews as a onetime obese, heroin-addicted bully.
He wanted desperately to be a cop, one friend remembered — even though he weighed more than 300 pounds at the time.
Then he embarked on a nearly psychotic obsession with his weight. He began running and kickboxing every day. And even though he lost about half his body weight, he developed an eating disorder that left him hospitalized.
Despite that, friends never suspected he would one day be accused of the bloody quadruple slaying.
“No bells ever went off,” said Barbara Tokar, 58, a neighbor of Kohberger’s childhood home in Pennsylvania whose daughter also knew him. “It makes me sick in my stomach. You never know. You just never know.”
He remains in custody in Idaho.