Thursday, May 23, 2024

Idaho Calls Off Execution of Thomas Creech on February 28, 2024

Thomas Creech, Idaho

Updated: Wednesday, February 28, 2024

The execution of Thomas Creech was called off after the medical team was unable to establish an IV line.  The team spent approximately one hour attempting to establish an IV line.  Thomas has been returned to his cell as his execution warrant has expired. 

Updated: Wednesday, February 28, 2024

The Supreme Court of the United States has refused to halt the execution of Thomas Creech.

Updated: Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Thomas Creech has an appeal pending before the Supreme Court of the United States in an attempt to halt his execution.  He is arguing that prosecutors lied during his clemency hearing, violating his right to due process.

Updated: Monday, February 26, 2024

Thomas CreechThomas Creech is scheduled to be executed at 10 am local time on Wednesday, February 28, 2024, at the Idaho Maximum Security Institute near Kuna, Idaho. Seventy-three-year-old Thomas is convicted of murdering fellow inmate David Dale Jensen on May 13, 1981, in a maximum security wing at the Idaho State Correctional Institution. For the last 47 years, Thomas has resided on Idaho’s death row.

Thomas Creech was born in Ohio. His parents frequently argued, eventually divorcing. After the divorce, Thomas lived with his father, who eventually died in front of him. After his father’s death, it is believed that Thomas ran away and began traveling across the county. In December 1969, Thomas was arrested for unarmed robbery. He served time and was paroled in 1971. Two years later he married a 17-year-old in Idaho, who was later committed to a psychiatric hospital where she committed suicide.

Thomas was arrested in August 1973 after he violated his parole by stealing 13 boxes of cigarettes. The charges were dropped after Thomas was admitted to a psychiatric hospital. He was a model patient during his one-week stay. After his release, he went to Portland, Oregon, where he worked as a sexton for a church. He quit his job after a body was discovered in his living quarters. Thomas then began dating another 17-year-old and the couple moved to Idaho.

On November 6, 1874, Thomas Creech and his girlfriend were hitchhiking when two house painters, 34-year-old Edward Thomas Arnold and 40-year-old John Wayne Bradford, offered them a ride. The couple accepted but during the ride Creech shot both men in the back of their heads, killing them. He and his girlfriend buried their bodies. The bodies and the missing vehicle were found the following day.

Two days later Creech was arrested, along with his girlfriend. Creech was convicted and sentenced to death. During his trial, Creech admitted to committing 42 murders in several different states. Creech provided details to the police who were able to link him to several cold cases, but police were not able to verify all his claims. Eventually, Creech’s death sentence was commuted to life in prison after the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that death sentences must be given by a jury.

Creech was serving his time at the Idaho State Correctional Institution near Kuna. He was housed in a maximum security wing, which usually only permitted one inmate out of their cell at a time. However, Creech worked as a janitor, against the protests of prosecutors who maintained that Creech continued to present a threat, even to other inmates.

While working, Creech was often not the only inmate out of his cell. Creech had a few altercations with fellow inmate, 23-year-old David Dale Jensen. David was in prison for a non-violent car theft. David was also mentally handicapped, with a plastic plate in his skull. On May 13, 1981, the altercations between Creech and David turned physical and deadly, as David was beaten to death with a sock full of batteries. Creech was quickly tried and convicted. He did not dispute the charges against him and asked to be sentenced to death. His request was granted.

This is not Thomas Creech’s first execution date.  His previous execution date was halted by the Idaho Parole Board in order to conduct a hearing to consider changing Thomas’ sentence.  Thomas is the longest-serving death row inmate in Idaho and was seeking to have his sentence reduced to life in prison due to his advanced age.  His request was denied and a new execution date was scheduled.  

The Idaho Supreme Court has also rejected a request to halt Thomas’ execution.  The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has also rejected a request to halt his execution.  Thomas then filed a request to halt his execution with the Supreme Court of the United States.  

Please pray for peace for the families of David Jensen, Edward Thomas Arnold, John Wayne Bradford, and any others affected by Thomas’ crimes. Please pray for strength for the family of Thomas. Pray that if Thomas is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason, that evidence will be presented before his execution. Pray that Thomas, who claims to be a “devout Christian,” will find peace through his personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

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