Judge lets another drug firm enter Nevada execution case
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Another pharmaceutical company was allowed Tuesday to join two other firms in Nevada state court hearings about the use of their drugs in a twice-postponed execution of a convicted killer who says he wants to die.
Sandoz Inc. is the latest addition to the case before Clark County District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez in which drugmakers Alvogen and Hikma Pharmaceuticals USA accuse Nevada of improperly obtaining their products for a lethal injunction — a use the companies say they don’t allow.
The judge in Las Vegas also set a Sept. 10 court date to decide when additional hearings could be held, while acknowledging the Nevada Supreme Court is already planning Sept. 12 hearings about the stalled execution of Scott Raymond Dozier.
The high court plan to hear oral appeals next month could lead to a decision there by mid-October. Prison officials want to reschedule Dozier’s execution for mid-November.
State Deputy Solicitor General Jordan Smith maintains that Nevada prison officials lawfully obtained the drugs in question from a third-party supplier and the companies are now stricken by “sellers’ remorse” amid concerns about their corporate reputations.
Sandoz makes the muscle paralytic cisatracurium. Alvogen makes the sedative midazolam. Hikma is a producer of the powerful opioid fentanyl, which has been blamed for illegal-use, drug overdose deaths nationwide.
Nevada wants to use those three drugs for its first execution since 2006 in a sedative-opioid-paralytic combination similar to one Nebraska used last week in the lethal injection of Carey Dean Moore.
Nebraska also used a fourth medication, the heart-stopping drug potassium chloride, that isn’t part of Nevada’s plan.
Nevada executions must by law be by lethal injection. Dozier’s dates with death were previously postponed in November and July.
The 47-year-old is not challenging his convictions or the sentence he received in 2007 for killings in Phoenix and Las Vegas. He insists he wants to die and doesn’t care if it’s painful.