The Associated Press reports that a judge in Nevada blocked the execution of a death row inmate after a pharmaceutical company objected to its drug being used in an execution. Scott Raymond Dozier, 47, was nine hours from being executed when the drug was disallowed in a ruling by a Clark County District Judge. Dozier was scheduled to die via a lethal injection using a combination of three drugs that had never been used in the U.S. before.
The execution was called off by state prison officials, and the judge issued an order that indefinitely postponed it. Dozier, on the other hand, has repeatedly expressed his desire to be executed and stopped seeking judicial relief.
Alvogen, a New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company, asked the judge that day to block the use of midazolam, a sedative the company produces. The state allegedly illegally secured the drug while intending to use it for unapproved purposes. Alvogen also argued using the drug could lead to a botched execution attempt.
Attorneys for the company accused the state of deceptively obtaining the drug by having it sent to a pharmacy in Las Vegas instead of the prison. A letter was also sent to prison officials telling them the company opposed the use of midazolam in executions.
Another hearing has been issued in the case against the state for September 10.
Another company, Sandoz, also objected to the use of one of its drugs in the lethal cocktail, but did not officially join the lawsuit against the state.
Spokespersons for Alvogen stated that the company does not intend to make a statement on the death penalty, but rather objects to the use of its drug for purposes it was not intended for.
Dozier was sentenced in 2007 for dismembering a 22-year-old man in a Vegas motel in 2002. He was also sentenced to 22 years in 2005 for shooting a drug-trade associate, whose body was discovered in a shallow grave in Arizona.
*Photo credit Associated Press