Death Penalty

Scott Ki / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho’s attorney general has added his support for Nevada in a recent court filing as the state tries to carry out its first execution since 2006. 

J. Stephen Conn / Flickr Creative Commons

Blaine County is considering withdrawing from a state program in an attempt to disincentivize local prosecutors from seeking the death penalty and to take a stand against the practice over objections from the local prosecutor.


Death penalty cases take longer to work through Idaho's court system, but it's hard to put a dollar figure on the extra expense, according to a new report.

A new report from Idaho's state auditors shows that sentencing a defendant to life in prison without parole is more expensive than imposing the death penalty.

But the Office of Performance Evaluations also found that the state's criminal justice agencies don't collect enough data to determine the total cost of the death penalty. Hannah Crumrine and Tony Grange presented the report to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee Wednesday morning.

Saying the practice is "inconsistent and unequal," Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced he was issuing a moratorium on the death penalty in his state.

During a press conference on Tuesday, Inslee said there were too many doubts raised about capital punishment and too many flaws in the system. With so much at stake, he said, it's not possible to accept "an imperfect system."

A federal judge has ruled that a man convicted of murder and kidnapping two northern Idaho children in 2005 was mentally fit when he waived the right to appeal his death sentence.

U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge issued the ruling Friday in the case of Joseph Edward Duncan III.

Duncan was convicted of killing several members of a Coeur d'Alene family in 2005 so he could kidnap the family's two youngest children.

He tortured both kids in Montana for weeks before killing one of them and convicted and sentenced to death in 2008 for those crimes.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected Idaho death row inmate Gerald Pizzuto Jr.'s claim that he is too mentally disabled to be executed.

An inmate who was sentenced to death for killing a bank teller in eastern Idaho will get another chance to argue that he deserves a lesser sentence under a new ruling from the Idaho Supreme Court.

Timothy Dunlap was sentenced to death for shooting 23-year-old Tonya Crane to death during a Soda Springs bank robbery in 1991. He has also been sentenced to death in Ohio for killing his girlfriend, Belinda Bolanos, with a crossbow just 10 days before Crane's murder.

Army Orders Death Penalty Trial For Sgt. Bales

Dec 19, 2012
High Desert Warrior

The U.S. Army will seek the death penalty against Staff Sgt. Robert Bales. The Army announced Wednesday the Washington-based soldier will face a general court-martial for allegedly killing 16 Afghan civilians – mostly women and children – earlier this year. 

The Army’s decision to put Bales before a court-martial that has the authority to impose capital punishment follows the recommendation of a pre-trial hearing officer. Bales is charged with 16 counts of premeditated murder as well as other crimes.

Idaho Department of Correction /

In 1985, a jury convicted Richard A. Leavitt of the brutal first-degree murder of Danette J. Elg a year earlier.  Elg of Blackfoot, Idaho had been stabbed more than a dozen times and her body was mutilated.  The state will execute 53-year old Leavitt Tuesday by lethal injection unless there’s a last minute stay.