Nevada execution blocked after drug maker protests against use of its sedative

Nevada to execute inmate with fentanyl in U.S. first

Nevada to execute inmate with fentanyl in U.S. first

Dozier has repeatedly said he wants to die and he doesn't particularly care if he suffers.

Clark County District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez in Nevada ordered the delay Wednesday after the company sued to prevent its drug midazolam from being used in "botched" executions.

"While Alvogen takes no position on the death penalty itself, Alvogen's products were developed to save and improve patients' lives and their use in executions is fundamentally contrary to this objective", the company said in its complaint.

If Dozier is put to death on Wednesday, it would be Nevada's first execution since 2006 and the 13th since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976. State officials could appeal right away to the Nevada Supreme Court.

A drug company is trying to block Nevada from using one of its drugs to execute a condemned killer on Wednesday, saying the state obtained the drug illegitimately.

According to Nevada's execution protocol, the state's plan going into Wednesday was to inject Dozier with three drugs: midazolam to sedate him, fentanyl to cause him to lose consciousness and then cisatracurium to paralyze his muscles.

The Alvogen challenge in Nevada carried echoes of a drug distributor's attempts a year ago to have courts block Arkansas from using a chemical it sold in a planned series of executions.

The fact that he is not putting up a legal contest to the never-before-used method of his execution, a protocol made up of midazolam, fentanyl and cisatracurium, means that "there is nobody in the court system who is vindicating the public interest" about whether it is legal and constitutional, said Dunham.

The state high court in May decided on procedural grounds that the execution could go forward, but did not review the three-drug protocol that death penalty experts have characterized as experimental and risky.

Dozier did, however, let federal public defenders review and challenge the execution protocol drawn up previous year by state medical and prison officials for Nevada's first lethal injection since 2006. The state refused, however.

"The Nevada Attorney General's office would prosecute, criminally, any doctor or other private citizen that engaged in this very conduct of trying to acquire drugs that you know and you have been warned you are not to acquire for this goal".

So the U.S. prison system has been getting creative, substituting the usual drugs with others that are more readily available but were never created to be used in executions.

"This whole action is just PR damage control", Smith said.

Alvogen's midazolam was substituted in May for Nevada's expired stock of diazepam, commonly known as Valium. Dozier was also placed on suicide watch after his execution was postponed in November.

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 goal - saving and improving patients' lives.

States have been forced to adjust their methods as the drug supplies become tighter and more hard to obtain, however. He has been asking to be put to death for more than a year and appeared to be about to get his wish after waiving his appeals and thwarting his defense lawyers' attempts to obtain a stay of execution.

"Life in prison isn't a life", Dozier told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Sunday morning.

In court hearings and letters, he said there is a limit to how much artwork and exercise a person can do in prison.

Dozier was sentenced to death in 2002 after killing and dismembering 22-year-old Jeremiah Miller. Miller's head was never found and he was identified by tattoos on his torso.

Following his arrest on June 25, 2002, Dozier was connected to another crime, the murder of Jasen "Griffin" Green, whose remains had been found in a plastic container in the desert north of Phoenix a year earlier.

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

They include Sandoz, producer of the muscle-paralysis drug cisatracurium, and Pfizer, which past year attempted to reclaim fentanyl from Nevada but was rebuffed.

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