Execution updates

February 28, 2024
Graphic with IDOC logo and words "execution updates"
Graphic with IDOC logo and words "execution updates"

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

3:40 p.m.

Director Tewalt's message to staff

Hi All-

Preparing for an execution requires a significant amount of time, energy and effort from a host of partners and staff.  I’m thankful for the support we received from the Idaho State Police and the Ada County Sheriff’s office.  I’m proud of the staff who helped the work of our agency continue with minimal disruption, and I’m grateful for the staff who were part of incident command to plan a major event. 

While the execution of Thomas Eugene Creech did not proceed, the process worked as intended. Our medical team experienced difficulty establishing an IV site of sufficient quality to carry out the execution by lethal injection. It’s a scenario for which we trained and prepared, and I made the decision to stand down the execution based on the professional advice of our medical team.  It was the right decision. Some are characterizing today’s events as a failure, but the opposite is true. The process worked to prevent a failure, and I think that's an important distinction. I'm sure some will question or disagree with the decision not to proceed, but I'm confident my decision won't be criticized by anyone who would have to live with the consequences of getting it wrong.  

The death warrant will be allowed to expire. Our staff and medical team conducted themselves with the utmost professionalism and infused this difficult process with dignity and respect.

The inability to establish appropriate IV access has prompted questions about a firing squad as a secondary method of execution.  Let me explain where we are with that process and some of the complexities. We've been working with the Division of Public Works to retain the expertise necessary to retrofit F Block, our current execution chamber, and accommodate a firing squad.  Those initial efforts were unsuccessful because contractors who would engage in this type of work have expressed their unwillingness to work on a project related to executions, but efforts are ongoing.  Securing chemicals for lethal injection created a decision point in how to sequence potential construction in F Block.  Once construction commences, it impedes the state's ability to carry out the death penalty by any means until construction is complete.  Since we have the means for lethal injection and anticipated a death warrant, we chose not to render F Block inoperable. 

Today's events require careful consideration, and we'll be meeting with a host of stakeholders in the days ahead to determine the next steps. It's important to be mindful of the impact on Mr. Creech's victims' families.  I can't speak to what constitutes justice from their perspective, but I can't imagine that continued stories help them find the peace and comfort they deserve.

Thank you again for your continued professionalism.


2:52 p.m.

Demobilization has taken place and facilities are back to normal operations. Media areas have been shut down and Point of Entry will be closed down at 6:00 p.m. today.


1:43 p.m. 

Demobilization of the South Boise Complex has begun. Facilities will return to normal operations at 2:00 p.m.. Only authorized staff are allowed on IDOC property for the rest of the day.


11:00 a.m.

At approximately 11am, Director Tewalt, after consulting with the medical team leader, determined that the medical team could not establish an IV line, rendering the execution unable to proceed. Mr. Creech will be returned to his cell and witnesses will be escorted out of the facility. As a result, the death warrant will expire at 11:59 p.m.. The State will consider next steps. Director Tewalt and State witnesses, to include the media, will be arriving in the media center shortly for a brief press conference. 


10:00 a.m.

As of approximately 10am, all witnesses to the execution have been briefed on the process and provided with a rough timeline for the process. They have been escorted from the administrative area of IMSI to the execution chamber viewing area. They are now seated in viewing, and we expect the execution to start momentarily.

State Witnesses:

Jan Bennetts, Ada County Prosecutor

Dodds Hayden, Board of Correction

Jared Larsen, Governor’s office

Matt Clifford, Ada County Sheriff

Raul Labrador, Attorney General

Phil Skinner, AG Chief of Staff


Media Witnesses:

Brenda Rodriguez, KTVB

Rebecca Boone, Associated Press

Roland Beres, KIVI

Scott McIntosh, Idaho Statesman


8:34 a.m.

The United States Supreme Court just issued orders denying the pending applications for stay and petitions for certiorari in the three remaining pending cases.


7:57 a.m.

Today, the IDOC is set to carry out the execution of Thomas Creech at approximately 10am. Last night, Mr. Creech visited with his wife throughout the evening. Additionally, his religious advisor spent an hour with him this morning. Mr. Creech had fried chicken, mash potatoes with gravy, corn, rolls, and ice cream for his last meal. Mr. Creech has remained cooperative in the days leading up to the execution. 


Tuesday, February 27, 2024

The Idaho Department of Correction is preparing to carry out the execution of Thomas Creech on February 28, 2024 at 10 a.m.. Important details regarding traffic, visiting, and other useful information are below. 

Traffic: The speed limit on Pleasant Valley Road between 10-Mile Creek and Kuna Mora Road will be lowered to 35 mph beginning at 2:00 p.m. on February 27th and ending at  3:00 p.m. on February 28th.

Visiting: Visiting for all facilities south of Boise is cancelled on February 28th. Unless otherwise noted, regular visiting will resume on Thursday, February 29th.

Demonstrator lots: Demonstrator lots will open to the public at 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 28th.