Nevada To Use Drug Banned In Arizona For First Inmate Execution In Over A Decade

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According to the L.A. Times, the Nevada Department of Corrections announced Tuesday that the plan to execute convicted killer Scott Dozier on July 11 will include use of a never-before-tried cocktail of drugs, one of which is a controversial paralytic banned in the neighboring state of Arizona.

Dozier, 47, was convicted 11 years ago of killing and dismembering Jeremiah Miller in Las Vegas, and also was convicted of murder in Arizona. He has been on death row ever since, and refused to allow his attorneys to seek a stay of execution.

The state released a 16-page protocol which detailed the order and dosage of the drugs, which include the paralytic drug cisatracurium as well as midazolam and fentanyl. Those seeking an injunction against the use of the paralytic claim it could hide the pain and suffering experienced by the condemned man during his execution.

A lower court judge ruled there was a risk of harm due to the drug cocktail, but her decision was overturned by the Nevada Supreme Court in May and Dozier’s death warrant was signed on June 19.

The victim’s family and Dozier’s relatives are expected to attend his execution — Nevada’s first in 12 years — which will be carried out at the state prison in Ely. The state’s new execution chamber was completed two years ago, at a cost of around $860,000, and Dozier will be the first put to death there.

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According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the ACLU has asked for more information beyond the limited protocol disclosed late Tuesday afternoon, legal director Amy Rose said.

“There are so many questions left outstanding that releasing a heavily redacted version of the protocol that they should have released several weeks ago… if anything, it just raises more questions and more concerns. There is a very real risk that Mr. Dozier will suffocate and will suffer extreme unconstitutional pain and suffering.”

Concerns raised in the ACLU’s emergency petition in District Court included questions about the drug purchase orders, the protocol procedure decision process, and the new, untested execution chamber.

They point to Joseph R. Wood III, who was injected with the standard dose of the sedative midazolam 15 times, then took two hours to die, gasping for air in a high-profile execution after which Arizona stopped using midazolam altogether. Several drug manufacturers have refused to sell midazolam for use in executions.

Rose also stated that on the day of the execution, there will be a protest at the governor’s mansion in Carson City.