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Idaho Capital Punishment Laws

While capital punishment remains a legal sentence for a number of crimes under Idaho’s criminal statutes, the state has only executed three people in its history. Here are the basics of capital punishment laws in Idaho.

Capital Punishment Statutes in Idaho

32 states have capital punishment laws in place while 18 states have banned the “death penalty.” The chart below highlights Idaho’s capital punishment statutes.

Code Section

Idaho Statute 18-4001, et seq.: Homicide;

Idaho Statute 19-2515, et seq.: Sentence in Capital Cases;

Idaho Statute 19-2701, et seq.: Execution

Is Capital Punishment Allowed?


Effect of Defendant's Incapacity

If as result of mortal disease or defect a person lacks capacity to understand proceedings against him, he cannot be tried, convicted, sentenced or punished so long as incapacity endures; if pregnant, time period after no longer pregnant.

Minimum Age

No minimum age

Available for Crimes Other than Homicide?

Kidnapping in the 1st degree unless prior to imposition of sentence victim is liberated unharmed

Definition of Capital Homicide

Murder committed by person guilty of a previous conviction of another murder; knowingly created great risk of death; committed for remuneration; especially heinous, atrocious or cruel; circumstances show utter disregard for human life; murder of 1st degree with specific intent to cause death; propensity to commit murder, i.e., a continuing threat to society; murder of former/present peace officer, judicial officer, executive officer, officer of the court, fireman, prosecuting attorney for reasons relating to the performance of their official duties; murder of witness in criminal or civil proceeding; murder committed during perpetration of arson, rape, robbery, burglary, kidnapping or mayhem and defendant killed, intended to kill, or acted with reckless indifference to human life; murder while escaping or attempting to escape from a penal institution

Method of Execution

Lethal injection; firing squad if lethal injection not possible

Although reinstated by the United States Supreme Court in 1976, the issue of capital punishment remains a divisive topic in American politics and society. According to recent national polls, half of U.S. citizens remain in favor of the death penalty while the other half prefers life imprisonment following murder convictions.

More Resources for Capital Punishment Laws in Idaho

Criminal charges are serious matters and can be difficult to understand. FindLaw’s section on Capital Punishment and the Death Penalty can provide you with further articles and information on this topic. If you would like legal assistance with a death penalty matter, you can consult with an experienced Idaho criminal law attorney in your area.

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