Idaho murder suspect will face death penalty if . . .

July 17, 2023
Robert Ayers

Bryan Kohberger, the man accused of murdering four University of Idaho students, could end up facing the death penalty if certain findings are made by the jury, according to an expert interviewed by Fox News

Kohberger is currently facing four counts of first-degree murder and one count of burglary.

Idaho state prosecutors have indicated to the court that they will seek the death penalty in this matter.

Paul Mauro, a former New York Police Department inspector, recently made an appearance on the Fox News Channel's Sunday Night in America with host Trey Gowdy, where Mauro discussed what would have to happen for Kohberger to receive the death penalty.

"There is this standard . . ."

Gowdy began by asking Mauro whether  "seeking the death penalty makes it harder or easier for prosecutors to get a conviction."

Mauro replied:

In Idaho, there is this standard that there are a number of things that you can hit that make it a capital case. One of them is the crime being particularly heinous. We do have to recognize that, in Idaho, it'll be a separate proceeding to impose the death penalty, and it'll be the jury that actually engages in that proceeding.

Mauro went on to argue that, given the circumstances of the murders, the likelihood is that this would be a case in which a jury would find a death penalty sentence acceptable.

Mauro, though, never did directly answer Gowdy's initial question of whether "seeking the death penalty makes it harder or easier for prosecutors to get a conviction." The idea behind this question is that a jury may be less willing to convict an individual knowing that, if they do so, he may be put to death.

Mauro, though, did suggest that, given what is known about this case, the jury would not have any qualms about Kohberger being put to death. Time will tell if this is indeed the case.

Is he guilty?

Before one gets to the sentencing phase of the case, one has to prove the defendant guilty of the crimes that he has been alleged to have committed.

Gowdy and Mauro went on to discuss a key piece of the prosecution's evidence, namely, DNA that was found on the sheath of the knife that was allegedly used to commit the killings.

Gowdy noted that the defense is going to try to argue that this evidence is not as strong given the presence of lots of DNA from different individuals at the house where the murders took place.

Mauro claimed that the defense is likely on a "fishing expedition" here. Mauro argued that the chances of the DNA found on the sheath located in the victims' bed belonging to someone other than the murderer are "octillion-to-one." And, it just so happens that this DNA belonged to Kohberger.

We'll have to see if the jury agrees.

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