Friday, 16 November, 2018


Nevada execution blocked after company objects to use of its drug

Nevada execution blocked after company objects to use of its drug Nevada execution blocked after company objects to use of its drug
Bennie Garza | 12 July, 2018, 12:38

Alvogen, the pharmaceutical company, said in a statement that it "does not condone the use of any of its drug products, including midazolam, for use in state sponsored executions".

A lawsuit filed by the pharmaceutical company Alvogen, however, put Dozier's execution by lethal injection on hold.

Todd Bice, a lawyer for Alvogen, accused Nevada of deceptively obtaining the company's drug by having it shipped to a pharmacy in Las Vegas rather than the state prison in Ely.

Per The Associated Press, Dozier has repeatedly affirmed his desire to die, even if it's painful.

Dozier's execution was stayed last November at the request of the Nevada Department of Corrections after a judge blocked the state from using cisatracurim in a newly devised and untested three-drug combination to carry out the death penalty. The judge, who said she needed time to read the lengthy complaint and the accompanying application for a temporary restraining order, scheduled another hearing for 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Judge Gonzalez set a hearing in the case for September 10.

However, the legal challenge filed by Alvogen is only the second of its kind in the United States, said Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Centre in Washington. The pharmaceutical company also raised fears that the drug could lead to a botched execution, citing cases that apparently went awry elsewhere around the country.

Gonzalez sided with Alvogen, saying the company "established a reasonable probability that it will suffer damages to its business reputation, which will impact investor relations and customer relations".

Pfizer protested past year, but Nevada refused the pharmaceutical company's demand to return the diazepam and fentanyl it manufactured. But the state refused.

Dozier is slated for execution Wednesday night at 8PM.

Jordan T. Smith, an assistant Nevada solicitor general, countered at Wednesday's hearing that the state didn't put up a "smokescreen" or do anything wrong in getting the drugs. He said drugs ordered by the state prison system are regularly shipped to Las Vegas.

This would be the first time that fentanyl, one of the central drugs in the USA opioid epidemic, has been used in an execution in the USA, and it likely would be a first for cisatracurium as well, said Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center. The legal challenge filed by Alvogen is only the second of its kind in the U.S, said Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center in Washington.

Last year, a pharmaceutical company sued the state of Arkansas over drugs used in its lethal injections, but was unsuccessful.

Nevada obtained the midazolam after its supply of another sedative, diazepam, commonly known as Valium, expired.

Dozier has said that he wishes to be executed and that being put to death is better than spending the rest of his life in prison.

"Life in prison isn't a life", the 47-year-old inmate told the newspaper.

There's a limit to how much artwork and physical exercise a person can do in prison, Dozier said in court hearings and letters to the Las Vegas judge who postponed his execution.

The condemned man was sentenced to death in 2007 for a first-degree murder conviction in Nevada following a previous second-degree murder conviction in Arizona.

The lawsuit names the director of Nevada's department of corrections, James Dzurenda, and the state's chief medical officer, Dr Ihsan Azzam, as conspiring to buy the midazolam along with an unidentified doctor who will participate in the execution. Miller's torso was found inside of a suitcase dumped in a trash bin on West Flamingo Road.

Last year, Dozier dropped his death penalty appeals and asked to be executed. 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. They argued the untried three-drug combination would be less humane than putting down a pet.

The drug was used in the execution of Joseph Wood in 2014, who took almost two hours to die, and led Arizona to stop using midazolam.

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