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Judge allows 3rd drug company into Nevada execution lawsuit

Lawyers involved in the dispute over the drugs in Nevada’s lethal injection cocktail are scheduled to argue before two separate courts in the same week.

District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez on Tuesday allowed the makers of a paralytic drug known as cisatracurium to join a lawsuit over the twice-postponed execution of killer Scott Dozier.

Meanwhile, the judge said she expected to hear arguments during the second week of September on a preliminary injunction to prohibit the Department of Corrections from using the paralytic, the sedative midazolam and the pain reliever fentanyl. The hearing is expected to take up to a week.

Lawyers for the prison system have appealed a previous temporary restraining order issued by Gonzalez that stopped the state from administering midazolam and essentially halted Dozier’s planned execution last month.

Arguments on the appeal are set for Sept. 12 before the Nevada Supreme Court. Gonzalez said she would set aside time for the attorneys to appear before the higher court.

The condemned prisoner, who waived his appeals in late 2016, was sentenced to die in 2007 after first-degree murder and robbery convictions in the slaying of Jeremiah Miller. The victim’s torso was found on April 25, 2002, in a suitcase that had been dumped in a trash bin at a Las Vegas apartment complex.

Dozier also had a murder conviction in the Arizona slaying of Jasen “Griffin” Greene before he was brought to Nevada to face charges in Miller’s death. Dozier, 47, would be the first prisoner executed in Nevada since 2006.

In November, another district judge blocked the state from using the paralytic after a doctor testified that it could mask suffering, but the Supreme Court ultimately overturned that ruling.

Contact David Ferrara at dferrara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039. Follow @randompoker on Twitter.

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