The Spokesman-Review

Rhoades execution cost $53K, Idaho officials say

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The execution of Paul Ezra Rhoades last month for his role in the 1987 murders of two women cost the state more than $53,000, Idaho prison officials said Friday.

Rhoades died on Nov. 18 at the Idaho Maximum Security Institution after being administered three separate drugs that make up the state’s new lethal injection protocol. Prison officials spent $53,411 while preparing for and carrying out the state’s first execution in 17 years, officials said.

Idaho Department of Correction Director Brent Reinke detailed the cost, saying about $25,500 went to cover overtime department staff accrued and more than $27,800 went toward operating costs, such as medical supplies, equipment rentals and meals.

The department was committed to carrying out the execution with professionalism and respect and for the individuals involved, Reinke said.

“We believe we met those standards while at the same time being careful stewards of taxpayer dollars,” he said in a prepared statement.

In comparison, Reinke said the Oregon Department of Corrections spent an estimated $57,574 in preparation for the execution of death row inmate Gary Haugen before he was granted a temporary reprieve on Nov. 22, two weeks before he was scheduled to be executed.

Rhoades was the first Idaho inmate to be executed since 1994 and the only person to be involuntarily put to death in the state since 1957. The last inmate to be executed gave up all of his remaining appeals and asked the state to carry out his lethal injection.

An Idaho Falls native, Rhoades was convicted in the kidnapping and murders of 34-year-old Susan Michelbacher and 21-year-old Stacy Dawn Baldwin. He was also sentenced to life in prison for the murder of 20-year-old Nolan Haddon.

The killings of Michelbacher, Baldwin and Haddon occurred during a three-week span in the winter of 1987. Prosecutors said Rhoades snatched Michelbacher, a special education teacher, into his van, raped her, shot her nine times and continued the sexual assault either as she lay dying or after she was already dead.

Baldwin died in similar fashion. The newlywed and convenience store worker was abducted at gunpoint and taken to a remote area where prosecutor said he intended to sexually assault her. She fought back, and as she was scrambling away on all fours, he shot her twice and left her to die alone in the snow.

Haddon also worked at a convenience store, where he was robbed and shot five times by Rhoades before being left for dead in a walk-in cooler.


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