Florida Department of Corrections/Doug Smith via Wikimedia Commons

The Justice Department amended a rule that previously restricted federal death sentences to be carried out by means of lethal injection, to broader methods as “prescribed” by the sentencing state.

The Federal Register was altered on Friday to allow the U.S. government to perform death sentences for federal prisoners by lethal injection, or “any other manner prescribed by the law of the state in which the sentence was imposed.” 

Six states including California, Arizona, and Missouri, currently condemn prisoners to death by poisonous gas chambers. Execution by electrocution is allowed in Florida, Kentucky, and seven other states. Hanging is another method used in Delaware and Washington, while death by firing squad is still condoned in Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Utah. 

The change goes into effect on Dec. 24, with five inmates scheduled to death prior to Inauguration Day. Attorney General William Barr plans to execute prisoners convicted of “staggeringly brutal murders” and bring “justice to victims of the most horrific crimes,” since reinstating the practice in 2019 after a 17-year moratorium. 

Lisa Montgomery, the only female federal death row inmate, is the first prisoner scheduled to be executed after the rule goes into effect. She was convicted of murdering eight-month pregnant Bobbie Jo Stinnett in 2004 and hacking the unborn child from her womb to reportedly raise as her own. The infant was discovered alive by authorities when she was arrested a day later. 

Montgomery will be executed on Jan. 12 by lethal injection, though sentencing state Missouri also allows the option of lethal gas. Two days later, Corey Johnson, who was convicted of murdering seven people in a 1992 drug-related spree, will also be put to death by lethal injection. Although Virginia, where the crime occurred, still sanctions electrocution.

Dustin John Higgs’ execution is slated for Jan. 15, though without a specified method of death. He committed first-degree execution-style murder of three women in Maryland, where the death penalty is no longer a state punishment. 

It is unclear if Barr is seeking to use an alternative method of death on Higgs, or whether he will attempt to switch Montgomery, or Johnson’s execution manner to the state accepted substitutes.


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Jerri
Jerri
9 months ago

Great but did they change the time frame in which they execute a person? They sit on death row for years before they execute a person.

Hunter427
Hunter427
9 months ago
Reply to  Jerri

This all nice but how about investigating the elections Bill Barr

Lt. Rob Polans Spec. & Intel Ret.
Lt. Rob Polans Spec. & Intel Ret.
9 months ago

About time! Why did we ever stop using other means. “Sparky, hangman’s tree, and do you want a blindfold?” were fine about 120 years ago. We still have the crimes, in fact worse ones, so…

Ellen Tolson
Ellen Tolson
9 months ago

No electrocutions or gas chambers. I don’t care what the inmate did. We should not allow ourselves to be animals like the inmates were!!!

DianeLynn
DianeLynn
9 months ago
Reply to  Ellen Tolson

No matter how they are put to death it will never ease the pain of the victims family. As far as I am concerned any method is warranted as an offset to an atrocious act. Make the appeal process last no longer than a year.

Warren
Warren
9 months ago
Reply to  Ellen Tolson

Ellen, I’d like to hear what you would have to say if one of “THESE ANIMALS” killed or raped one of your loved ones…
LET THE PUNISHMENT FIT THE CRIME..!

Elvis
Elvis
9 months ago
Reply to  Ellen Tolson

Eye for an eye hun…if you do not want to be killed…do not murder anyone…the murderer brings the death penalty upon their own self

John Dahlman
John Dahlman
9 months ago
Reply to  Ellen Tolson

capital punishment for murder is justice.