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Delaying Kohberger trial will help to ensure this death penalty case is done right | Opinion

Bryan Kohberger, the man accused of stabbing to death four University of Idaho students in November, waived his right to a speedy trial on Wednesday.

That allows the judge in the case, 2nd Judicial District Judge John Judge, to schedule Kohberger’s trial later than the previously scheduled start date of Oct. 2.

We all want resolution in this case, but Oct. 2 was an aggressive timeline. Rushing a trial that’s so sensitive and complicated never made sense.

Before delaying the trial, Judge had told the prosecution and public defenders for Kohberger that they would need to be finished with the discovery process in two weeks, name the experts they plan to have testify a week after that and identify all of their witnesses by the middle of next month. All motions were to have been filed by Sept. 22, in time for jury selection starting Sept. 25.

As the Idaho Statesman’s Kevin Fixler reported, it was a breakneck pace.

It was way too fast for a capital murder case.

We sympathize with members of the victims’ families, who want a quick resolution.

“We are afraid he (Kohberger) is going to waive his rights to a speedy trial,” the family of Kaylee Goncalves posted on Facebook on Wednesday morning before the hearing. “If he does, trial will not be starting on Oct. 2 and it is very likely that it won’t take place for years. We want to get this trial over. Just thinking it could be years absolutely kills me.”

But if there are errors during a hastened trial, it could delay justice even further. And because this is a death penalty case, final resolution will take years regardless. It’s better to get this right from the beginning.

Statesman editorials are the unsigned opinion of the Idaho Statesman’s editorial board. Board members are opinion editor Scott McIntosh, opinion writer Bryan Clark, editor Chadd Cripe, newsroom editors Dana Oland and Jim Keyser and community members Mary Rohlfing and Patricia Nilsson.