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Nevada condemned killer set to die as legal fight over execution drug is waged

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(Reuters) – A drug company is trying to block Nevada from using one of its drugs to execute a condemned killer on Wednesday, saying the state obtained the drug illegitimately.

Scott Dozier, 47, is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 8 p.m. local time at a state prison in Ely, Nevada, about 245 miles (395 km) north of Las Vegas, in what would be the state’s first execution in 12 years.

Hours before the execution is scheduled, a state judge will hold a hearing on a request by the drug maker Alvogen Inc. to stop the Nevada Department of Corrections from using its sedative midazolam in its three-drug execution cocktail.

Alvogen filed a lawsuit on Tuesday, accusing Nevada of acquiring the drug unlawfully and saying use of its product for an execution would cause “irreparable injury to Alvogen, its reputation, and its goodwill,” according to a copy of the complaint posted by the Nevada Independent news organization.

Nevada corrections officials revised their lethal injection protocol last week, saying they were switching to midazolam, implicated in botched executions in other states, to replace expired prison supplies of diazepam.

The sedative is intended to render the inmate unconscious before he is administered the synthetic opioid fentanyl and then paralytic agent cisatracurium.

Dozier has reportedly suspended any further appeals of his conviction or sentence, saying he can no longer bear life behind bars.

“Life in prison isn’t a life,” Dozier told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Dozier was convicted in 2007 of the murder of Jeremiah Miller, who was robbed and shot in 2002 after traveling to Las Vegas, where Dozier had promised to help him get drugs to make methamphetamine. Miller’s torso was later found in a suitcase in a trash bin, local media reported.

He was also convicted in the 2005 murder of Jasen “Griffin” Green in Phoenix before the trial in Nevada.

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.

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 state Supreme Court later overruled that decision.

Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee and Steve Gorman in Los Angeles, editing by Larry King



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