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Inmate’s Wish To Die is Finally Granted — Lethal Injection Recommended

— July 31, 2017

Inmate’s Wish To Die is Finally Granted — Lethal Injection Recommended

Scott Dozier was sentenced to death in 2007 for the murder of Arizona resident Jeremiah Miller.  Miller’s torso was found in a suitcase.  His extremities were never recovered.  This murder followed a 2005 second-degree murder conviction.  However, he hasn’t been executed yet and has spent the last year trying to convince the court to let him die by lethal injection.  

“It’s been a long time, your honor. I’m ready to go,” Dozier, 46, said during a recent court hearing, and finally, he felt his wishes had been granted.  The warrant of execution by lethal injection, signed Thursday by Clark County District Judge Jennifer Togliatti, requires that Dozier be put to death during the week of October 16th, 2017.  His execution is scheduled to be the first in Nevada since 2006.

Inmate’s Wish To Die is Finally Granted -- Lethal Injection Recommended
Image Courtesy of Nevada Department of Corrections

Judge Togliatti asked Dozier if he was concerned about reported issues with the execution drugs that could be used. “There’s nothing that occurred in the last year, including discussions about the drug, the efficacy of the drug…whether the drugs used in other states have problematic, perhaps painful or protracted executions?”Togliatti asked. “That has not dissuaded you from asking me to sign this warrant?”

Dozier said it didn’t change his quest to die. “Quite frankly, your honor, all those people ended up dead, and that’s my goal here,” he said, almost sarcastically.  “Once they start, they are going to get it done one way or another.  Ideally, it will not be terrible or painful, but if it is, I’m kind of committed at that point.”  Dozier used other blunt statements and ‘gallows’ humor to assure the judge during the hearing he really wants to die.

Clark County Assistant District Attorney Giancarlo Pesci indicated the Department of Corrections would ready the drugs.  “The Department says that if there’s a warrant, they can get it.  I can’t tell you which drug or drugs will be used,” Pesci said.  The DOC issued a statement indicating it is “seeking guidance from the Attorney General’s Office and will follow all appropriate and legal protocol to ensure state law is followed.”

State law requires executions to be carried out by lethal injection, however specific drug protocol is not required. In 2015, the state had said it planned to utilize midazolam and hydromorphone.  Midazolam, an anti-anxiety sedative, was the subject of a botched execution in Oklahoma in 2014 which lasted over 40 minutes. Pfizer, the company who manufactures hydromorphone announced it would refuse to allow the drug to be used in any more executions last year and seems to have made good on its promise.  Obviously, another combination may need to be sought in Dozier’s case.

“As you know, there has been great concern about drugs not working properly. There have been cases in other states where executions really have been botched,” Pesci said. “I think it is very important to make sure that we don’t have a situation that has happened in other states.”  Clark County Deputy Public Defender Scott Coffee adds, “We don’t have a clear picture, even with this execution warrant, for exactly what the protocol is going to be for this execution and where the drugs are going to come from.”


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