Nevada Postpones Planned Execution Using Fentanyl

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

New Jersey-based pharmaceutical manufacturer Alvogen filed an emergency lawsuit Tuesday, stating in court filings it doesn't want its sedative midazolam used in "botched" executions.

Dozier repeated his desire to die during recent interviews with the Reno Gazette Journal and Las Vegas Review-Journal.

With this execution up in the air, it's not clear what Nevada plans to do now.

According to Alvogen, the Nevada Department of Corrections ordered Midazolam through a pharmacy in Las Vegas to avoid the company's opposition.

He said Alvogen had sent a letter to state officials in April telling them it opposes the use of its products in executions, particularly midazolam.

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. "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.

States began adding midazolam to their lethal-injection protocols after European companies stopped selling pentobarbital for use in executions in 2011.

Three drug companies have now objected to Nevada's efforts to use their drugs to execute a man via lethal injection. But the state has refused. The drugs include a powerful synthetic opioid that has been blamed for overdoses nationwide.

Assistant Solicitor General Jordan Smith says Nevada never tried to hide its objective.

Nevada prisons spokeswoman Brooke Santina had no immediate comment.

"This whole action is just PR damage control", Mr Smith said of Alvogen. That drug has become controversial for its use in executions, and Alvogen highlighted some of those incidents in court, including the bungled 2014 Oklahoma execution that saw an inmate grimace and kick, an Arizona execution that same year that took almost two hours and the 2016 Alabama execution that had witnesses recounting that the inmate coughed and heaved.

The order is the first time a drug company has successfully sued to halt an execution in the USA involving one of its drugs.

"Because Nevada is using a combination of drugs that no one has used before, there is a lot about its protocol that we don't know anything about", said Robert Dunham, death penalty center executive director. The previous challenge, filed a year ago by a different company in Arkansas, was unsuccessful in halting that execution.

Since then, it has been subject to legal challenges at state and federal levels by inmates and drugs companies.

If the execution had not been interrupted, Dozier would have been the first inmate in the United States to be executed by a lethal injection laced with fentanyl. 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 in an interview published on Sunday.

There was a limit to how much artwork and exercise a person can do in prison, Dozier said in court hearings and letters previous year, according to ABC News in the US.

He was convicted of second-degree murder in the Arizona slaying of Jasen "Griffin" Greene and sentenced to 22 years in prison in 2005, before he was brought to Nevada to face charges in Miller's death. The victim's torso was found in a suitcase dumped in a trash bin in Las Vegas, according to the Nevada Department of Corrections. A witness 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 meth, equipment and chemicals. Dozier was also placed on suicide watch after his execution was postponed in November.

Dozier, a former stripper and ice dealer, has said he doesn't care if the deadly combination of three drugs hurts, he just wants to die.

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.

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