Drug company's lawsuit could derail scheduled Nevada execution

Drug company's lawsuit could derail scheduled Nevada execution

Drug company's lawsuit could derail scheduled Nevada execution

Alvogen said in its lawsuit that midazolam has been involved in a number of botched executions across the USA when it failed to sufficiently sedate the condemned man.

Nevada's last execution was in 2006.

"I don't want to die", he told The Marshall Project days after the execution was stayed in 2017.

Over the last decade, various American pharmaceutical companies have opposed the use of their products in lethal injections, causing a decrease in executions due to a lack of drug components.

Attorney Scott Coffee, a death penalty expert, was quoted as calling the Dozier case "state-assisted suicide".

"Midazolam is not approved for use in such an application", the document said, adding uses of midazolam in other states "have been extremely controversial and have led to widespread concern that prisoners have been exposed to cruel and unusual treatment".

Jordan T Smith, an assistant Nevada solicitor general, countered at Wednesday's hearing that Nevada did not put up a "smokescreen" or do anything wrong in getting the drugs.

Cardinal Health did not immediately respond to phone or email requests for comment.

Stocks of the drugs commonly used in executions have been dwindling as their producers have refused to supply them to prisons.

US drug manufacturers have increasingly refused to sell states any drugs that could be used in the procedure, after disturbing details emerged from a series of botched lethal executions across the nation.A drug company unsuccessfully sued Arkansas past year to ban the state from using one of its drugs in the procedure.

Pharmaceutical companies have resisted the use of their drugs in executions for 10 years, citing legal and ethical concerns.

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Drug company Sandoz wants to join New Jersey-based drugmaker Alvogen in its objection to the Wednesday evening execution of Scott Raymond Dozier.

The judge invited state Supreme Court review, saying she expected the Nevada execution to be closely watched by officials in states that have struggled in recent years to identify and obtain drugs from pharmaceutical companies that don't want their products used for the death penalty.

But the execution was stopped over plans to use another substance, the sedative midazolam, in the three-drug cocktail after its manufacturer, Alvogen, sued the Nevada state department of corrections.

The company further alleges that the doctor who acts as medical officer at the execution will be breaking a Nevada law requiring that a physician administer controlled drugs exclusively for a legitimate medical goal.

Dozier, 47, had been scheduled to be put to death at 8 p.m. (0300 GMT on Thursday) at a state prison in Ely, Nevada, about 245 miles (395 km) north of Las Vegas, in what would have been the state's first execution in 12 years. The company alleged Nevada purchased the drug "by subterfuge with the undisclosed and improper intent to use it for the upcoming execution in complete disregard of plaintiff's rights".

Midazolam has been used with inconsistent results in states including Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida and Ohio.

"Life in prison isn't a life", he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal this week. It's unclear whether this latest legal effort will affect Dozier's scheduled execution. Miller had come to Nevada to buy ingredients to make meth.

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. Shortages of the drug, which has seen its distribution greatly restricted by the European Union, have forced states to get creative ― often adopting what may be unconstitutional alternatives.

At the time of the trial, Dozier was already serving a 22-year sentence in Arizona for killing and dismembering 26-year-old Jasen Green in another drug-related murder. A witness testified Dozier used a sledgehammer to break the victim's limbs so the corpse would fit in a plastic storage container.

Miller's torso was found on April 25, 2002, in a suitcase that had been dumped in a trash bin at the Copper Sands apartment complex in the 8100 block of West Flamingo Road. They argued the untried three-drug combination would be less humane than putting down a pet.

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