The U.S. Justice Department has rushed to change the rules around federal death penalties as they expedite a slew of scheduled executions in the final days of the Trump administration, including expanding possible execution methods to include electrocution and death by firing squad. This is reported by CNN.
The approved amendment to the "Manner of Federal Executions" rule gives federal prosecutors a wider variety of options for execution in order to avoid delays if the state in which the inmate was sentenced doesn't provide other alternatives.
The rule was included among three dozen policy changes President Donald Trump is attempting to push through before the end of his term.
It ultimately may be moot since President-elect Joe Biden campaigned to abolish the federal death penalty and four of the five inmates scheduled for execution already have their manner selected - lethal injection.
The Justice Department did not provide comments on why the new rule was made.
The proposed amendment, which was published in August, calls for alternative means for federal executions if lethal injection is not available in the state in which a defendant is given a sentence of death.
It also suggests that if the state where the crime occurred does not permit death sentences, a judge can designate another state with those laws and utilize their facilities to carry out the execution.
But a Justice Department official said, "the federal government will never execute an inmate by firing squad or electrocution unless the relevant state has itself authorized that method of execution."