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Nevada releases records on sedative to be used in execution

July 7, 2018

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada prison officials released records Friday afternoon about where and when a sedative was obtained for use next week in the state’s first execution since 2006.

Records from the Nevada Department of Corrections show midazolam slated for use in Scott Raymond Dozier’s lethal injection Wednesday was purchased in May from the state’s regular pharmaceutical distributor, Cardinal Health, and manufactured by pharmaceutical company Alvogen.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that midazolam can be used in lethal injections. But the drug has been blamed in recent years for problem executions in several other states.

Messages seeking comment from Alvogen on Friday afternoon were not immediately returned. The company, however, said on a webpage for the product that it opposes the drug’s use in lethal injections.

The company says it has taken steps to try to avoid having midazolam be used in executions and does not accept orders from prison systems or corrections departments. The company says it is also working to ensure its distributors and wholesalers do not directly or indirectly resell the drug to prisons or corrections departments.

A message seeking comment from Cardinal Health was not immediately returned Friday.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada points to Arizona’s decision to stop using the drug after a 2014 lethal injection that took nearly two hours to kill Joseph Rudolph Wood. The organization has criticized the plan for Dozier’s lethal injection as being less human than putting down a pet.

Nevada plans to use midazolam injections to be followed by high doses of the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl and muscle-paralyzing drug cisatracurium. Fentanyl and cisatracurium have never before been used for executions.

Dozier has been on death row since 2007 after being convicted in murders in Phoenix and Las Vegas. The 47-year-old has waived appeals in his case and has said he wants to die and doesn’t care if he suffers.

ACLU of Nevada spokesman Wesley Juhl said the organization was reviewing the Nevada records Friday afternoon and figuring out its next steps.

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