Nevada Execution in Doubt After Drug Company Sues to Stop it

12 Julio, 2018, 12:30 | Author: Kelly Blake
  • Scott Dozier wants to die by untested method, even if it’s painful

The state of Nevada had not yet appealed by midday.

Togliatti presided over the 2007 trial in Nevada in which a jury decided Dozier should die for murder convictions in Arizona and Nevada in separate 2002 slayings of drug-trade associates, according to court records.

Dozier had been scheduled for execution in November, but a district court judge had ruled that cisatracurium couldn't be used in the execution over concerns about the muscle relaxant, which could hide signs of pain.

A Nevada judge halted the execution of a twice-convicted murderer on Wednesday after a pharmaceutical company filed a lawsuit seeking to block the use of one of its drugs in the execution, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. State officials could appeal right away to the Nevada Supreme Court. The pharmaceutical company also raised fears that the drug could lead to a botched execution, citing cases that apparently went awry elsewhere around the country.

Alvogen also claims the prison obtained its midazolam illegally, "despite a clear and unambiguous prior warning" from the company that they could not acquire it from company or a third party. "Nevada Department of Corrections to use our midazolam product in an execution, we are exploring all potential avenues, including legal recourse, to prevent the improper use of our product in this particular execution", Alvogen spokesman Halldór Kristmannsson said.

According to the Review-Journal, Gonzalez has scheduled a status hearing in the case for September 10, while Dozier's death warrant expires at the end of the week.

A lawsuit filed by the pharmaceutical company Alvogen, however, put Dozier's execution by lethal injection on hold. The legal challenge filed by Alvogen is only the second of its kind in the U.S, said Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center in Washington. The first attempt-by a different company in Arkansas-failed past year.

Alvogen said in a statement that it was pleased with the ruling and will continue to work through the legal system to ensure its products are not used in executions.

Gonzalez sided with Alvogen, saying the company "established a reasonable probability that it will suffer damages to its business reputation, which will impact investor relations and customer relations".

The "risky combination of drugs" Nevada planned to used to kill Dozier also included the painkiller fentanyl and the paralytic cisatracurium. But the state has refused. "And contrary to the state's belief, the state is just as much bound to the law as is a private citizen", Todd Bice, the Attorney for Alvogen said.

Nevada obtained the midazolam after its supply of another sedative, diazepam, commonly known as Valium, expired.

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The sedative is meant to render the inmate unconscious before he is administered the synthetic opioid fentanyl and then paralytic agent cisatracurium.

David Juurlink, an expert in toxicology at the University of Toronto, told NPR that the role of fentanyl in this protocol is to sedate a person and stop their breathing.

Mr Bice said that Alvogen does not take a position on the death penalty itself but opposes the use of the drug in a way that is fundamentally contrary to the drug's objective - saving and improving patients' lives.

Midazolam has been used with inconsistent results in states including Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida and Ohio. "It's extremely experimental", as Amy Rose of the American Civil Liberties Union puts it.

He says that he prefers death over life in prison.

"Life in prison isn't a life", the Army veteran and methamphetamine user and dealer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal recently.

Dozier was sentenced to die for robbing, killing and dismembering 22-year-old Jeremiah Miller at a Las Vegas motel in 2002. Miller's head was never found and he was identified by tattoos on his torso.

Last year, Dozier dropped his death penalty appeals and asked to be executed. A witness testified Dozier used a sledgehammer to break Greene's limbs so the corpse would fit in a plastic storage container.

He did, however, let federal public defenders review and challenge the execution protocol drawn up past year by state medical and prison officials.

They argued that the untried three-drug combination would be less humane than putting down a pet.

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