Drug maker goes to Clark County court to stop Nevada execution

Drug maker goes to Clark County court to stop Nevada execution

Midazolam maker Alvogen of New Jersey filed a lawsuit in Nevada state court accusing Nevada of illegally securing midazolam for unapproved purposes.

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

The Alvogen challenge in Nevada carried echoes of a drug distributor's attempts past year to have courts block Arkansas from using a chemical it sold in a planned series of executions.

"You got something that's killing hundreds of people a day across the United States, and you got prisons who can't get death penalty drugs, so they're turning to the drug that's killing hundreds of people across the United States", he said.

But death penalty opponents said the use of the drugs _ especially Midazolam _ are unconstitutional and violate the Constitution's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.

If Dozier is put to death on Wednesday, it would be Nevada's first execution since 2006 and the 13th since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976.

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. The state said it would explore whether it could appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court.

With this execution up in the air, it's not clear what Nevada plans to do now. These three-drug cocktail, he said, "sounds like a genuinely lethal regimen that I would imagine would be associated with very little discomfort".

Fordham University law professor Deborah Denno said numerous drugs previously used for executions were manufactured in European countries that don't allow the death penalty.

Nevada refused Pfizer's demand a year ago to return the company's diazepam and fentanyl, which has been blamed for overdoses nationwide but has not been used in an execution.

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Other drug companies like Pfizer have demanded the state of Nevada to return the company's diazepam (Valium) and fentanyl.

The state high court in May decided on procedural grounds that the execution could go forward, but did not review the three-drug protocol that death penalty experts have characterized as experimental and risky. Every state that has included midazolam in its lethal injection protocol has seen gruesome botched executions as a result.

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.

However, 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 Centre in Washington.

Todd Bice, an attorney representing Alvogen said the company's lawsuit was not about the constitutionality of the death penalty nor whether Dozier deserved the death penalty - it had exclusively to do with business.

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. But the state has refused.

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.

"Life in prison isn't a life", Dozier told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Sunday morning.

There's a limit to how much artwork and exercise a person can do in prison, Dozier said in court hearings and letters to Clark County District Judge Jennifer Togliatti, who postponed his execution past year.

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. In response, states including Ohio, Florida and Oklahoma have adopted or suggested new and untested drug combinations. 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 methamphetamine, equipment and chemicals. They argued the untried three-drug combination would be less humane than putting down a pet.

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