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People Put Chad Daybell to Death for Killing His Wife and Lori Vallow’s Children. He Could Be Killed by a Shooting Squad


After six weeks of very scary evidence in his high-profile murder trial in Idaho, Chad Daybell was given the death penalty. He could be put to death by firing squad thanks to a new law.

A jury found Daybell guilty last week and put him on death row in Idaho. He is 55 years old and claims to be a prophet of the “doomsday cult” with extreme religious views. He wants to lead 144,000 people to be saved during the Second Coming of Jesus Christ in 2020. Authorities say that Daybell killed his wife Tammy Daybell and the two youngest children of his then-girlfriend Lori Vallow in 2019. Their bodies were found buried in his Rexburg home in June 2020, nine months after they had gone missing. The prosecutors said that Daybell did this because he “wanted sex, power, and money.”

It was two days after Daybell was found guilty that the same jury decided he should be put to death. A choice that didn’t make Daybell feel anything. When Judge Steven Boyce asked him if he wanted to say something, he said no.

Idaho doesn’t use its death sentence very often, but it’s getting more attention again because of Daybell’s strange case and the case of Idaho murder suspect Bryan Kohberger, who is charged with killing four University of Idaho students in November 2022.

The Death Penalty Information Center says that since the US Supreme Court brought back the death penalty in 1976, Idaho has only carried out three killings. The first one happened in 1994, and the next two happened in 2011 and 2012.

Now, the way people are put to death in Idaho is in the news.

Last year, Idaho became the fifth state to let shooting squads be used as a way to kill people. On July 1, 2023, the law became law. Mississippi, Utah, Oklahoma, and South Carolina are the only other states that allow firing squads.

The Washington, DC-based Death Penalty Information Center says that Utah is the only state that has used shooting squads in the last 50 years.

Ronnie Lee Gardner was put to death at Utah State Prison on June 18, 2010, for killing a lawyer during an attempt to escape from a courthouse.

The Associated Press says Gardner was sitting in a chair with sandbags around him and a target on his chest. Five jail staff members picked from a group of volunteers were fired.30-caliber rifles from 25 feet away. After two minutes, Gardner was declared dead.

Someone put a blank cartridge into one gun, but no one knew which one it was. That’s done in part so that people who are troubled by their role in the crime can think they might not have fired a deadly bullet.

There is new interest in using a firing squad as a way to put people to death because states are looking for options for lethal injections since drug companies stopped letting their drugs be used. Other states have either agreed to let electric chairs and gas chambers be used again or are at least thinking about it.

Some people, like Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, think that fire squads are not as cruel as lethal injections.

According to The Associated Press, that thought comes from the belief that bullets will hit the heart, breaking it and knocking the prisoner out right away while they quickly bleed to death.

As Sotomayor wrote in a 2017 opinion, “Death by shooting may not only happen quickly, but it may also be relatively painless.”

In the case of an Alabama prisoner who wanted to be put to death by firing squad, she said those things. Most of the Supreme Court refused to hear his case. In her opinion, Sotomayor said that drugs that kill can hide terrible pain by paralyzing prisoners while they are still conscious.

She wrote, “What a cruel irony that the method that seems the kindest could end up being our cruelest experiment yet.”

But a lot of people are still not sure if death by firing squad is really peaceful.

In a federal case from 2019, prosecutors used comments from anesthesiologist Joseph Antognini, who said that deaths by firing squad are not always painless.

Antognini said that based on where the bullets hit, an inmate could be awake for up to 10 seconds after being shot. During those seconds, the inmate could be in “severely painful pain,” especially from broken bones and damage to the spinal cord.

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