Between 1864 and 1957, Idaho executed 26 men, all by hanging. Capital punishment was reinstated in 1973, after the United States Supreme Court struck down all death penalty statutes across the country in the 1972 Furman v. Georgia decision. Nevertheless, Idaho waited until 1994 to execute their first inmate, using the lethal injection method, although up until 2009 a firing squad was an option for execution. Three crimes in Idaho are punishable by death: first-degree murder with aggravating factors, aggravated kidnapping, and perjury causing execution of an innocent person. Sentencing in capital crimes is determined by jury.
There are currently 15 people, including one woman, on death row in Idaho. This state is one of a few where commutation of death sentences is determined solely by a clemency board which is independent of the governor. One commutation as been granted – to Donald Paradis in 1994. His sentence was later overturned due to evidence which proved his innocence and he was released. In 2001, another death row inmate, Charles Fain, was also exonerated.