Bryan Kohberger, the suspect accused of the murders of four University of Idaho students last fall, is facing the death penalty and, if convicted, he could face death by firing squad, according to authorities.
In cases where a defendant is found guilty in a death penalty trial, defense attorneys are given the chance to present evidence of mitigating factors that would make the death penalty unjust, according to the AP.
These mitigating factors may encompass various aspects, such as the defendant's mental health challenges, if the defendant has shown remorse, and if the defendant is very young or suffered from childhood abuse.
In Idaho, executions by lethal injection are allowed. However, prison officials have been unable to obtain the necessary chemicals in recent months to carry them out, the AP reported. This has caused one planned execution to be repeatedly postponed.
According to the AP, death by firing squad will become an approved back-up method of execution beginning July 1. This new law was passed by the Idaho Legislature earlier this year, but the method is likely to be challenged in federal court.
Never miss a story — sign up for the Front Page Detectives newsletter. Be on the scene the moment news breaks.
As Front Page Detectives previously reported, 28-year-old Kohberger was studying for a Ph.D. in criminology at Washington State University when police believe he broke into a home in Moscow, Idaho, and stabbed four students to death: Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Kernodle's boyfriend, Ethan Chapin, 20.
The next hearing in Kohberger’s criminal case is scheduled for June 27.
Become a Front Page Detective
Sign up to receive breaking
Front Page Detectives
news and exclusive investigations.