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July 11, 2018

Drug company succeeds in getting Nevada execution using its drug postponed

As reported in this local article, "Nevada’s plan to execute a convicted murderer with a never-before-used combination of drugs is on hold for at least 60 days." Here is more:

The state was planning to use three drugs — midazolam (a sedative), fentanyl (the high-potency opioid) and cisatracurium (a paralytic) — to execute Scott Dozier on Wednesday night.

Clark County District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez ruled in favor of the company that makes midazolam, which sued the state, saying Nevada had illegitimately acquired the product for the execution. It wants the state to return its stock of the drug to the company. Gonzalez granted a temporary restraining order. “If the state is permitted to use the midazolam manufactured by plaintiff, plaintiff has shown a reasonable probability it will suffer irreparable damages,” Gonzalez said in her Las Vegas court.

The drug maker, Alvogen, and the state are scheduled to return to court September 10 for another hearing in the case.

The execution would have been the first time that fentanyl, one of the central drugs in the US opioid epidemic, has been used in a capital punishment case in the United States, said Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center. It would likely have been a first for cisatracurium to be used as well, he said.

Dozier, 47, is not making legal challenges to halt his execution. “Life in prison isn’t a life,” he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “This isn’t living, man. It’s just surviving.”... His attorney, Thomas Ericsson, told CNN that his client wants to be executed.

Although Dozier is not trying to stop his execution, there is opposition to the drug cocktail the state plans to use in carrying out the death sentence. “Nevada should not use prisoners as guinea pigs in experimental executions, even if they ask to die,” tweeted the ACLU of Nevada.

Dozier was convicted of first-degree murder in the death of Jeremiah Miller, who was killed and dismembered in 2002. The victim’s torso was found in a suitcase dumped in a trash bin in Las Vegas, according to the Nevada Department of Corrections. Dozier was also convicted of second-degree murder in the death of another victim found buried in the Arizona desert.

Prior related posts:

July 11, 2018 at 06:53 PM | Permalink


This judge should be removed by the Nevada legislature. Impeach her.

Posted by: David Behar | Jul 11, 2018 8:32:10 PM

Hack lawless judge.

Posted by: federalist | Jul 11, 2018 9:21:49 PM

The use of carfentanyl was first proposed in the Comments section of this pro-criminal blog. It was also proposed that executioners get excellent at starting IV's as volunteer EMT's, under harsh and inconvenient conditions. Failing that, have drug addicts with good behavior, find and insert IV drips. There is much synthetic chemistry talent inside its walls. It may make its carfentanyl, or import it from China on the internet. It may then sell it to other states seeking products for executions.

Posted by: David Behar | Jul 11, 2018 10:55:05 PM

Remarkable how some here are so quick to protest the application of law when it is used, quite legitimately, against them. The Trump administration is quick to protect the intellectual rights of businesses against China, yet when they are claimed and protected by law within the US, it suddenly becomes a grey issue. Medicines are developed to heal people, not kill them!

Posted by: peter | Jul 12, 2018 4:35:30 AM

While not sure what theory the trial court relied on, I don't see how it is a violation of intellectual property rights. Nevada is not making a generic version of Midazolam and marketing it to others.

I am seeing potential breech of contract or maybe an intentional tort related to damaging reputation. Neither sounds particularly strong, but you do not need to be particular strong on the merits to get a TRO, just strong enough to survive a motion to dismiss plus showing a need to preserve the status quo until the case can be resolved.

Posted by: tmm | Jul 12, 2018 10:49:32 AM

The judge wanted to generate lawyer procedure and jobs. That decision is a type of theft of tax money. She should be removed immediately. Lawyers will not propose her impeachment because of the conflict of interest in sanctioning a rainmaker for their jobs.

Posted by: David Behar | Jul 12, 2018 11:02:49 AM

If, as the company alleges, the NV DOC committed fraud in order to obtain the drugs, that sounds strong...

Posted by: John | Jul 12, 2018 12:29:59 PM

It is absurd to assert that a business has an enforceable right with what a customer does with its product. Next thing you know my bank will tell me that I can only use mortgage loan to buy a house.

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 12, 2018 4:21:14 PM

This judge is obviously lawless. Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that "subterfuge" was unlawful--which seems a big big big stretch. Does that come close to entitling the drug company to the relief it seeks? There is no suggestion that the law provides a remedy for the breach of law--the state has come into the peaceful possession of property. So what law requires its return? The complaint sounds in the nature of inverse condemnation--but it doesn't appear that the state got the drugs directly from the drug company.

Seems to me that the complaint is damnum absque injuria.

Posted by: federalist | Jul 12, 2018 6:52:32 PM

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