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Nevada Supreme Court takes over lethal injection lawsuit

Scott Dozier’s fate lies in the hands of the Nevada Supreme Court.

The high court is expected to decide whether drug companies can stop the Department of Corrections from using their medications in the twice-postponed execution of the condemned killer.

Lawyers for Alvogen Inc., the makers of a sedative, and Hikma Pharmacueuticals, the makers of fentanyl, planned for use in the prison system’s untested three-drug execution cocktail, have argued that the companies would suffer if their midazolam was used to kill Dozier.

District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez canceled a hearing Thursday, which was set to determine whether the manufacturers of a paralytic drug could join the litigation after the Supreme Court ordered a stay in the lower court.

On the day Dozier was set to die last month, Gonzalez barred the prison system from using midazolam. The prison system then appealed that decision to the higher court.

Noting that they would not grant extensions, the high court justices gave the drug companies until Monday to file opposition to suspended proceedings in District Court.

Justice James Hardesty dissented with granting the stay.

“Nothing in this case prevents the state from seeking a warrant for Dozier’s execution through other means, and thus far, the state has failed to demonstrate that it cannot conduct its responsibilities to carry out Dozier’s execution through other medications,” Hardesty wrote.

Justice Kristina Pickering did not sign the order.

Earlier this week, attorneys general from 15 other states filed a motion supporting opposition to the drug companies’ lawsuit.

For nearly two years, Dozier has said he wants to waive his appeals and have his execution carried out, explaining that he would rather die than live on death row.

Dozier 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 prior murder conviction in the Arizona slaying of Jasen “Griffin” Greene and was sentenced to 22 years in prison in 2005, before he was brought to Nevada to face charges in Miller’s death.

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

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