The population of Idaho’s death row has been slowly shrinking, in part because some previously condemned inmates have won appeals, been resentenced to life in prison or died of natural causes. More than 40 people have been sentenced to death in Idaho since the 1970s, but only three people have been executed during that span — Keith Eugene Wells died by lethal injection in 1994 after dropping his appeals and demanding to be executed, Paul Ezra Rhoades was executed in 2011 and Richard Albert Leavitt in 2012.
Today, eight people remain on Idaho’s death row:
— Thomas Creech was already serving two life sentences for a double murder in Valley County when law enforcement officers said he beat fellow inmate David Dale Jensen to death with a sock full of batteries. He’s been on death row since 1983, and his appeal of his conviction in Jensen’s murder is still moving forward in federal court. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is asking attorneys for more information in the case.
— Gerald Pizzuto arrived on death row in 1986, convicted of murder in connection with the beating deaths of two people in Idaho County. His appeal has focused on whether he has shown that he is intellectually disabled, since federal law prohibits the execution of people with intellectual disabilities. Earlier this year a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s ruling that Pizzuto failed to show he met the criteria to be considered intellectually disabled; Pizutto’s attorneys are now asking the full 9th Circuit to consider the case.
— Timothy Dunlap has been on Idaho’s death row since 1992, but he also faces the death penalty in Ohio for a separate killing in 1991. Prosecutors said he killed his girlfriend with a crossbow in a Cincinnati park and then 10 days later in Idaho, killed Tonya Crane during a bank robbery in Caribou County. Dunlap’s post-conviction relief petition will likely go before the Idaho Supreme Court sometime soon; his appeals on the Ohio case are also moving forward in federal court.
— Robin Row, the only woman on Idaho’s death row, was sentenced to death in 1993 in connection with the arson deaths of her husband, son and daughter in Ada County. Her appeal is awaiting a ruling in Idaho’s U.S. District Court.
— James Hairston was sent to death row in connection with the shooting deaths of two elderly residents; the judge at his trial characterized the murders as executions for money. Hairston was the 19th inmate on Idaho’s death row when he arrived in 1996. Now he’s one of eight condemned inmates. He has two appeals still pending in court.
— Erick Hall has been sentenced to death twice over in two separate Boise murders. Prosecutors said he kidnapped, raped and murdered one woman in 2000 and a second woman in 2003; investigators noticed similarities between the two cases after the second murder. His first death sentence came in 2004 and the second in 2007. He currently has three appeals pending in the two cases.
— Abdullah Azad also arrived on death row in 2004 in connection with the arson death of his wife in Ada County. Azad has appeals pending at both the state and federal levels.
— Jonathan Renfro is the newest Idaho death row inmate, condemned in 2017 for the shooting death of a police officer in Kootenai County. His post-conviction relief petition is still pending in court.