How did Nevada obtain fentanyl it plans to use in killer’s execution?

Death row inmate Scott Dozier appears before Judge Jennifer Togliatti during a hearing about his execution at the Regional Justice Center on Monday Sept. 11 2017 in downtown Las Vegas. Richard

Critics are warning about the "very real risk of a botched execution" in what is to be the first USA case of capital punishment using fentanyl.

While he has asked to be put to death, the state of Nevada has run into problems with the method of execution.

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.

Dozier repeated his desire to die during recent interviews with the Reno Gazette Journal and Las Vegas Review-Journal. Clark County District Court spokeswoman Mary Ann Price said the company would also need to file with Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez a request for a court order to halt the proceeding.

The Nevada department of corrections said it had no comment on the lawsuit.

The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled against the company and allowed that execution to go forward, but legal questions about whether pharmaceutical companies can block use of their drugs in the death penalty haven't been resolved, Dunham said.

This is the second lawsuit of its kind in the US from a pharmaceutical company, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, which tracks data about the death penalty and has criticized the way capital punishment is administered in America.

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 second pharmaceutical company, Sandoz, also raised objections at Wednesday's hearing to the use of one of its drugs - the muscle-paralysing substance cisatracurium - in the execution.

Especially concerning is the fact that the fentanyl will be mixed with midazolam, which "has been at the center of executions that have gone visibly wrong in every single state in which it has been used", says Maya Foa of anti-death penalty group Reprieve.

A Nevada judge is halting the use of a drug in the execution of twice-convicted killer Scott Raymond Dozier hours before he was scheduled to die by a first-of-its-kind lethal injection mixture.

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

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Todd Bice, an attorney with Alvogen, accused the state of deceptively obtaining the drug by having it shipped to a pharmacy in Las Vegas rather than the state prison in Ely.

The midazolam 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.

Alvogen's midazolam was substituted in May for Nevada's expired stock of diazepam, commonly known as Valium.

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

Even if, as has happened before with these experimental injections, the drug combination leaves him paralyzed yet still conscious, effectively suffocating him alive.

In court hearings and letters, he said there is a limit to how much artwork and exercise a person can do in prison.

Scott Dozier was sentenced to die for the 2002 robbing, killing and dismembering of a 22 year old man in a Las Vegas motel.

In 2005, Dozier was sentenced to 22 years in prison for shooting to death another drug-trade associate, whose body was found in 2002 in a shallow grave outside Phoenix.

The Nevada authorities refused to make public how they obtained the fentanyl and other drugs, but last week the ACLU won a court ruling forcing the department of corrections to hand over invoices. 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 meth, equipment and chemicals.

He did, however, let federal public defenders review and challenge the execution protocol drawn up previous year by state medical and prison officials. The state last executed someone in 2006.

They argued that the untried three-drug combination would be less humane than putting down a pet.

In court papers, Alvogen also cited the risk of a botched execution, citing instances in Alabama, Arizona and Oklahoma in the past few years in which inmates were left gasping or snorting, appeared to regain consciousness or took an unusually long time to die.

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