Nevada execution called off after company objects to its drugs being used

Death row inmate Scott Dozier appears before Judge Jennifer Togliatti during a hearing about his execution at the Regional Justice Center on Monday Sept. 11 2017 in downtown Las Vegas. Richard

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

Scott Raymond Dozier's lawyer, Thomas Ericsson, called Wednesday "a roller-coaster" for Dozier, his family and two close friends who were meeting for what they believed to be the last time at a prison in the remote northeastern city of Ely when they were notified that Dozier's execution was off.

Scott Raymond Dozier appears in a photo provided by the Nevada Department of Corrections in Nevada, U.S., July 11, 2018.

According to the nonprofit Death Penalty Information Center, a widely cited resource on the subject, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Ohio, Oklahoma and Virginia have all used midazolam in three-drug executions in recent years, with questionable results.

In court, Alvogen, the drug company, said their reputation would be "seriously harmed" if the drug was allowed to be used in the execution.

A Nevada judge is halting the use of a drug in the execution of a twice-convicted killer hours before he was scheduled to die by a first-of-its-kind lethal injection mixture.

"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 goal", Alovgen lawyers wrote.

Alvogen accused Nevada correction officials of illegally obtaining midazolam, as it is opposed to the use of any of its drugs in state-sponsored executions.

Nevada's campaign to execute Dozier has been bumpy despite his acceptance of his punishment.

A Nevada prisons spokeswoman did not comment.

"Alvogen has undertaken controls to avoid diversion of this product for use in execution protocols", the company states on its website concerning midazolam. And Nevada is no exception.

Arkansas executed four men in April 2017 by using McKesson's drug.

He is an honorably discharged Army veteran; a divorced father who became an emergency medical technician during his then-wife's high-risk pregnancy; a pastels painter; a landscaper; and a methamphetamine user, maker and dealer.

A second pharmaceutical company, Sandoz, also raised objections Wednesday to the use of one of its drugs - the muscle-paralyzing substance cisatracurium - in the execution.

It could now be several months before his execution is scheduled again. Depending on what happens in Dozier's case, Nebraska ultimately could wind up carrying out the first fentanyl-assisted execution, something that state is seeking to do this summer. It's been postponed before. She said the judge's decision to halt the execution was the right one.

A witness said Dozier used a sledgehammer to break Mr Greene's limbs so the corpse would fit in a plastic storage container. It may just be by default because I'm the chief medical officer of the state.

Dozier, who has abandoned the appeals process and repeatedly states his desire to be executed, was convicted of the 2002 murder of Jeremiah Miller, whose torso was found in a suitcase in Las Vegas.

He says that he prefers death over life in prison. "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.

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

"It's somewhat ironic that at the same time that the Justice Department and states are talking about how unsafe fentanyl is, and how it's created a national public health emergency, that states are now turning to it as a supposedly safe way of killing prisoners", Dunham added. When asked how he felt about the state trying to use fentanyl to kill him, he responded, "I think it's awesome". Nevada obtained the midazolam after its supply of another sedative, diazepam, commonly known as Valium, expired.

In the past, states with the death penalty typically used a cocktail of drugs that included sodium thiopental for lethal injection.

The midazolam is expected to render Dozier unconscious before he is injected with the fentanyl. And though it is part of a three-drug protocol, Juurlink added that fentanyl could be powerful enough to work on its own. Clark County District Court Judge Jennifer Togliatti once observed that Dozier's fitness regimen might make him the fittest death-row inmate on the planet.

An hour before the execution Wednesday, death penalty opponents plan to hold a vigil and rally outside the governor's mansion. It's an increasingly common issue around the country. Healthcare companies make drugs to save lives, not to end them in experimental executions.

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