Execution of Dozier Halted After Complaint Filed by Drug Manufacturer
The Nevada Department of Corrections confirms that the execution is postponed, but was not able to provide any details on future plans or a comment on Midzolam.
UPDATE: A temporary restraining order filed by drug manufacturer Alvogen has halted the execution of Scott Dozier.
Wednesday morning, a Las Vegas judge heard arguments Wednesday morning in Las Vegas from the maker of Midazolam which was part of the three drug regiment set to be used in the execution.
Following the judge's ruling, Alvogen released the following statement:
Alvogen is a leading global pharmaceutical company that provides medicines to improve the lives of patients around the world.
While Alvogen does not take a political stance on executions, Alvogen endorses the use of its products in accordance with FDA-approved indications; and does not condone the use of any of its drug products, including midazolam, for use in state sponsored executions.
To avoid any improper, off label use of our products in executions, Alvogen does not accept direct orders from prison systems or departments of correction. Alvogen also works with its distributors and wholesalers to restrict any sale, either directly or indirectly, of our midazolam product to any prison system or department of corrections.
Upon learning of the Nevada Department of Corrections’ intent to use Alvogen’s midazolam in an execution scheduled for July 11, 2018, Alvogen filed a complaint with the Clark County District Court alleging the NDOC fraudulently obtained this drug to be used in this execution. Alvogen also filed a temporary restraining order seeking to block the use of Alvogen’s midazolam in the execution. A hearing was held this morning and the court granted the TRO. Alvogen is pleased with the court’s decision and will continue to work through the judicial process to ensure Alvogen’s products are not used in executions.
The Nevada Department of Corrections confirms that the execution is postponed, and released the following statement:
The execution of Raymond Scott Dozier, which was scheduled to take place Wednesday, July 11th at 8:00 PM at Ely State Prison has been postponed. The Eighth Judicial District Court issued a temporary restraining order halting the use of Midazolam in the Nevada Department of Corrections execution protocol. The execution, which was ordered by the court, will not take place until further notice.
FROM YESTERDAY: Our sister station in Las Vegas, KLAS, reports that a Las Vegas judge will be hearing arguments on Wednesday morning for a temporary restraining order to stop the use of Midazolam in Scott Dozier's execution.
The company Alvogen, who manufactures Midazolam, filed documents on Tuesday declaring that the prison illegally obtained the drug and is demanding they return it.
The hearing is set for 9 a.m. at the Clark County District Court.
It's not immediately clear if the lawsuit will stop the execution, which is scheduled for Wednesday at 8 p.m. at Ely State Prison.
Mary Ann Price, spokeswoman for the Clark County District Court, says Alvogen will also have to file a request to order the stop of the execution with Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez.
(KLAS contributed to this report).
The company that makes a drug scheduled to be used in Scott Dozier's execution has filed a lawsuit alleging that the NDOC fraudulently obtained midazolam for an inappropriate use.
The request for a temporary restraining order has been sent as well.
On Monday the company issued this statement from Halldór Kristmannsson, Vice President of Global Corporate Marketing & Communication:
"Alvogen does not market, promote or condone the use of any of its approved prescription drug products, including midazolam, for use in state sponsored executions. To avoid any improper, off label use of our products, Alvogen does not accept direct orders from prison systems or departments of correction. Alvogen works with our distributors and wholesalers to restrict any resale, either directly or indirectly, of our midazolam product to any prison system or department of correction. With respect to the alleged intent of the State of 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.”
Dozier's execution is scheduled for Wednesday at Ely State Prison.
It's been 12 years since an execution has been carried out in the State of Nevada but that's set to change on Wednesday.
Scott Dozier was found guilty of the 2002 murder of 22-year-old Jeremiah Miller, whose torso was found in a suitcase in a Las Vegas trash bin.
He also was convicted of second-degree murder of another victim, whose torso was buried in the Arizona desert.
He is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection at Ely State Prison.
Last week, officials went through with the substitution of midazolam for diazepam in the never before tried drug combination for Dozier's execution, after their supply of Diazepam expired.
The Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC) presented a revised execution protocol to the Chief Medical Officer and they concurred that the drugs are appropriate for the use intended.
A practicing physician in the State of Nevada will be attending the execution.
A death penalty protocol released calls for using midazolam to sedate Dozier, then fentanyl - a powerful synthetic opioid - followed by the muscle paralyzing drug cisatracurium.
The paralytic was the focus of a court challenge that the state Supreme Court rejected in May on procedural grounds.
Officials plan to substitute midazolam for expired stocks of diazepam, commonly known as Valium.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada filed a lawsuit Tuesday complaining that the protocol hadn't been made public sooner and that there isn't more time to review the safety and legality of the execution plan. (AP)
Original Story: The Supreme Court of Nevada will decide whether a paralytic drug will be used to execute Scott Dozier.
The 47-year-old convicted murderer waived his appeals and says he wants the state to carry out his execution. His execution date came and went, last November, when a Clark County judge delayed his sentence because of questions over the drug Cisatracurium.
David Anthony is an Assistant Federal Public Defender for Dozier. He argues that the drug could cause a torturous death for Dozier.
"His first priority was his own execution and his second priority was to find out about the facts and if he had the preference, he would prefer a humane execution," Anthony said.
Dozier's execution would be carried out by lethal injection, first using Diazepam. Once he does not respond to voice stimulation, Fentanyl would be administered. The physician would check his consciousness again, using a pinch test before Cisatracurium would be administered.
"There will not be a delivery of the third paralytic drug unless and until Mr. Dozier passes a tactile stimulus check and the attending physician tells the drug administrators to proceed," Jordan Smith, Deputy Solicitor General said.
Anthony says there is still a risk that Dozier could start to gain consciousness and the execution would be cruel or unusual.
"Mr. Dozier could be conscious yet suffocating because he's received a paralytic drug," Anthony said. "A paralytic drug kills because it paralyzes the diaphragm so you can't breathe."
Smith says every execution could have risks or mistakes but that Dozier has very little risk of pain, panic or air hunger. He argues that the United States and Nevada Supreme Courts both ruled that risk should not stop an execution from moving forward.
"The Constitution does not require the avoidance of all risk of pain during an execution," Smith said. "This court held that the risk of a bungle is no argument against the method of execution."
Smith hinted that the implications of the Nevada Department of Corrections vs. the 8th Judicial District reach farther than the Dozier case.
"Respectfully, the arguments that are being made here are essentially an attack on the death penalty itself," Smith said.
Anthony says the state should move forward with a two-drug cocktail, rather than using the third drug that raises the controversy.
"The only difference between us and them is that they're not allowed to use the paralytic agent at the end because it's totally inappropriate to use in these types of circumstances," Anthony said.
The state's supply of Diazepam expired May 1 and one batch of its Cisatracurium expired April 1. Smith says that will not change much.
"It's possible that the state finds an alternative supplier, in which case it would go forward with this cocktail if it finds an alternative supply," Smith said.
The court could make its ruling within a couple of months, and Anthony says its opinion probably won't change Dozier's mind.
"Regardless of how the court rules, as far as I know, Mr. Dozier's wishes are to proceed with an execution," Anthony said.