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3 companies object to drugs' use in execution
13 July 2018, 08:24 | Erica Roy
3 companies object to drugs' use in execution
The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada had called on the state to halt the execution and accused state officials of an "egregious" lack of transparency regarding the execution.
The state had not yet appealed by midday.
Scott Raymond Dozier's execution had been scheduled to take place Wednesday evening.
Dozier has repeatedly said he wants to die and he doesn't particularly care if he suffers.
Dunham, the Death Penalty Information Center official, said that if cisatracurium is used in the the Nevada execution, it would be the first time that a state publicly acknowledged using it to execute an inmate. Santina said she could not comment on that accusation.
That case wound up in the Nevada Supreme Court, where the justices unanimously overturned the district judge's ruling in May, according to CNN affiliate KSNV.
The pharmaceutical company Alvogen filed a challenge on Wednesday, accusing the state of Nevada of surreptitiously obtaining the sedative Midazolam for executions and saying that it did not want the drug used in executions. Every state that has included midazolam in its lethal injection protocol has seen gruesome botched executions as a result.
Lawyers for Alvogen, the maker of Midazolam, argued in their brief that the Department of Corrections obtained Midazolam through a third party _ Cardinal Health _ without disclosing that it was to be used for executions.
New Jersey-based Alvogen says in a lawsuit filed Tuesday it doesn't want its product used in "botched" executions.
Gonzalez set a status check on the case for September 10, court spokeswoman Mary Ann Price said.
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. But the legal challenge filed by Alvogen is only the second of its kind in the USA, said Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center in Washington D.C.
Alvogen was the second USA drugmaker since past year to take legal action against a state using one of its products to administer capital punishment, saying the brand would be tarnished by association with the process of putting people to death.
"They plan on misusing it", Tom Bice, a lawyer for the drug company, said in court.
A third company, Pfizer, previous year demanded Nevada return the third drug intended for use in the execution, the powerful opioid fentanyl. But the state has so far refused to do so.
The sedative is expected to render Dozier unconscious before he is injected with the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl, which has been blamed for overdoses nationwide but has not been used in an execution. He said drugs ordered by the state prison system are regularly shipped to Las Vegas.
Midazolam, the drug at the centre of the court case that could again postpone Dozier's' death, was substituted in May because prison stocks of Valium had run out.
In November, a judge postponed his execution because of concerns the untried drug regimen could leave him suffocating, conscious and unable to move.
Nevada last carried out an execution in 2006.
Bice said 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 its goal - saving and improving lives.
Death-penalty watchers have pointed to inconsistent results with midazolam since the 2014 executions of Dennis McGuire in OH and Josph Rudolph Wood III in Arizona.
States have been forced to adjust their methods as the drug supplies become tighter and more hard to obtain, however.
Dozier, who attempted suicide in the past, has said he prefers execution to life behind bars.
"Not one response was received", according to a 2016 report in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The double murderer was convicted in 2007 of robbing, killing and dismembering a 22-year-old man in Las Vegas.
Miller had come to Nevada from Phoenix to buy ingredients to make meth. Miller's head was never found and he was identified by tattoos on his torso. A witness there testified that Dozier used a sledgehammer to break Greene's limbs so the corpse would fit in a plastic tote that Dozier used to transport methamphetamine, equipment and chemicals.
He did, however, let federal public defenders challenge the execution protocol drawn up past year by state medical and prison officials.
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