The Nevada Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to suspend a ruling that blocks the state from using a sedative in capital punishment.
This month, the state attorney general’s office asked the high court to wave off District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez’s decision that barred the prison system from using its supply of midazolam, produced by drug company Alvogen, in the lethal injection of condemned killer Scott Dozier.
That lower court order halted Dozier’s already twice-postponed execution.
But in issuing Wednesday’s order, six of the seven Supreme Court justices also stated that the attorney general’s appeal of Gonzalez’s ruling “should be expedited.”
Gonzalez rejected a request from two other drug manufacturers to prevent the state from using fentanyl and a paralytic in a three-drug lethal injection cocktail.
Department of Corrections officials have said repeatedly that they would only proceed with the trio of drugs in the execution protocol.
Nevada’s prison director, James Dzurenda, testified that he disregarded letters from three drug manufacturers who did not want their medications used in an execution.
Gonzalez ruled that all three companies could suffer irreparable harm to their reputations, along with lost sales, lost licensing and several other factors, if the drugs were used in an execution.
The inmate, who waived his legal appeals in late 2016, was sentenced to die in 2007 after first-degree murder and robbery convictions in the killing of Jeremiah Miller. Dozier had a murder conviction in Arizona before he was brought to Nevada to face charges in Miller’s death.