The Justice Department has quietly amended its rules for execution protocols, and no longer will require federal death sentences to be carried out by lethal ejection, according to reporting by the Associated Press.
The amended rule was published on Friday. It allows the U.S. government to conduct executions by lethal injection or use of “any other manner prescribed by law of the state in which the sentence was imposed.”
What does that mean?
A number of states allow other methods of execution, including electrocution, inhaling nitrogen gas, or death by firing squad.
The rule takes effect December 24th. There are five scheduled executions before President-elect Joe Biden would take office.
President Donald Trump’s administration is pushing for a number of rule changes before the end of his term.
This year, the Justice Department has put to death more people than during the previous half-century, despite waning public support from both Democrats and Republicans for its use, according to the AP. New York does not have a death penalty on the books.
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