The US Justice Department is amending its death penalty protocols to potentially end the use of lethal injection and clear the way for other methods such as firing squads and poison gas.
The amended rule, which has been published in the Federal Register, allows the US government to conduct executions by lethal injection or “any other manner prescribed by the law of the state in which the sentence was imposed”.
A number of states allow other methods of execution, including electrocution, inhaling nitrogen gas, or death by firing squad.
A Justice Department official said the change was due to the fact the death penalty act required sentences be carried out “in the manner prescribed by the law of the state in which the sentence is imposed”, and some states used methods other than lethal injection. The rule comes into effect on December 24, just weeks before President Donald Trump leaves office.
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