(Attorney General’s Office Press Release, February 24, 2023)
Boise, ID –Pursuant to an order of the Idaho County District Court, Gerald Pizzuto was scheduled for execution on December 15, 2022. The Idaho Department of Correction has been unable to acquire the necessary chemicals to execute Gerald Pizzuto Jr. As required by Idaho law, the Office of the Attorney General obtained a new death warrant and the State will continue to attempt to obtain the necessary drugs.
“Idaho law is clear, those who commit the most egregious crimes deserve the ultimate punishment. Pizzuto was sentenced to death. We followed the law and obtained a new death warrant. We understand IDOC is working hard to acquire the chemicals necessary to fulfill this death warrant. However, with every new court proceeding the Herndon family has been forced to re-live these heinous crimes. We hope the legislature will also consider giving the State an alternative method of execution,” Attorney General Labrador said.
FACTS OF THE CASE:
In 1986, an Idaho jury found Pizzuto guilty of two counts of first-degree murder for the July 25, 1985 killing of Berta and Del Herndon.
The Idaho Supreme Court described the murders of Berta and Del Herndon as follows:
On July 25, 1985, Gerald Pizzuto murdered Berta and Delbert Herndon. Pizzuto’s accomplices testified that Pizzuto went to rob the Herndon’s, but according to the autopsy, this was no mere robbery gone wrong. Delbert Herndon’s wrists had been bound with a shoelace and wire; Mr. Herndon then suffered two blows to the head, consistent with a hammer. Ms. Herndon suffered a similar fate. Berta Herndon was bound and then beaten in the back of the head with a blunt object.
Gerald Pizzuto has a long and grotesque criminal record. In State v. Pizzuto, the district court agreed and sentenced him to death. Mr. Pizzuto should serve the punishment the court sentenced him to in 1986. He has tried and failed for 37 years to change the outcome of his trial and sentence. The Idaho Supreme Court has denied him relief eight times. The Ninth Circuit has reviewed his case three times. Additionally, the U.S. Supreme Court has denied hearing his case six times. The legal system has spent more time on Pizzuto than any other death row inmate in Idaho history.