Judge denies Chad Daybell’s push to remove death penalty

Posted at 10:11 PM, December 20, 2023

By: Kelsie Rose

FREMONT COUNTY, Idaho (Scripps News Boise) — Judge Steven Boyce has ruled that Chad Daybell is still eligible for the death penalty if found guilty of murder.

Chad Daybell sits during a court hearing

FILE – Chad Daybell sits during a court hearing on Aug. 4, 2020, in St. Anthony, Idaho. An Idaho judge has banned cameras from the courtroom in the high-profile triple murder case against a mom and her new husband, saying he fears the images could prevent a fair trial. Lori Vallow Daybell and her new husband Chad Daybell are accused of conspiring together to kill her two children and his late wife. (John Roark/The Idaho Post-Register via AP, Pool, File)

“While Daybell will continue to enjoy the full due process to which he is entitled, if he is adjudicated guilty on charge or charges of murder in the first degree, the ultimate determination of punishment shall be determined by the jury.”

In November, Daybell’s attorney filed two motions with the Fremont County clerk to strike the death penalty as a possible punishment.

READ MORE: Chad Daybell’s defense uses Lori’s trial in fight to strike death penalty

In one of those motions, Daybell’s attorney, John Prior, argued that it is unconstitutional for Daybell to face the death penalty, while his co-defendant, Lori Vallow did not.
In the latest order, Boyce writes, “The Court is unpersuaded that the death penalty in this instance is sought in a manner that is arbitrary or capricious, despite Vallow not facing the same consequence.”

It continues, “Each defendant has been given individualized consideration from the outset of these cases—and will continue to be afforded individualized consideration by this Court.”

This story was originally published by Scripps News Boise, an E.W. Scripps Company.