"What we're seeing from the drug companies is rather than simply protesting that the drugs have been improperly obtained, they're going into court to try to protect their corporate interests and to try to protect the integrity of their medicines", Death Penalty Information Center Executive Director Robert Dunham said in an interview.
A drug company is trying to block Nevada from using one of its drugs to execute a condemned killer on Wednesday, saying the state obtained the drug illegitimately.
The execution of 47-year-old Dozier is scheduled for Wednesday night. This isn't living, man.
His attorney, Thomas Ericsson, told CNN that his client has been wanting to be executed.
Many states are having difficulty obtaining the drugs for lethal injection cocktails, as manufacturers increasingly object to having their drugs used in this way.
An hour before the execution Wednesday, death penalty opponents plan to hold a vigil and rally outside the governor's mansion.
Dozier was sentenced to die in 2007 for first-degree murder with a deadly weapon and robbery with a deadly weapon in the slaying of Jeremiah Miller. Miller's head was never found and he was identified by tattoos on his torso.
At the time of the trial, Dozier was already serving a 22-year sentence in Arizona for killing and dismembering 26-year-old Jasen Green in another drug-related murder.
The drug company that creates the sedative Midazolam, which was expected to be one of three drugs used in the execution, sued the State of Nevada and the Department of Corrections, claiming Alvogen was misled in what the drug would be used for.
A hearing on Wednesday morning will determine if the execution occurs. "Nevada Department of Corrections to use our midazolam product in an execution, we are exploring all potential avenues, including legal recourse, to prevent the improper use of our product in this particular execution", Alvogen spokesman Halldór Kristmannsson said.
"NDOC has been advised not to comment on the lawsuit", department spokeswoman Brooke Santina said in an email Tuesday. "But on top of that it's never been used in an execution before". It has resulted in states scrambling to find legally obtainable lethal injection drugs.
The drugs were ordered from one of the US's largest pharmaceutical distribution companies, Cardinal Health, which is among wholesalers facing a barrage of lawsuits accusing them of profiteering from the opioid epidemic by delivering vast quantities of prescription painkillers to small pharmacies and ignoring evidence they were being used by people addicted to the drugs. "In furtherance of this effort, Alvogen does not accept direct orders from prison systems or departments of correction".
Midazolam will be used as a sedative and to stop the inmate from breathing.
In court papers, Alvogen also cited the risk of a botched execution, citing instances in Alabama, Arizona and Oklahoma in the past few years in which inmates were left gasping or snorting, appeared to regain consciousness or took an unusually long time to die. Earlier that year, another inmate, Clayton Lockett, had been injected with midazolam, but instead of becoming unconscious, he twitched, convulsed and spoke.
"I don't want to die", he told The Marshall Project days after the execution was stayed in 2017. They include Sandoz, producer of the muscle-paralysis drug cisatracurium, and Pfizer, which past year attempted to reclaim fentanyl from Nevada but was rebuffed.
The news divided experts.
Dozier has said that he wishes to be executed and that being put to death is better than spending the rest of his life in prison. "This sounds like an article from the Onion", referring to a news satire website. That will be followed by the muscle paralyzing drug cisatracurium.
"It has been at the centre of executions that have gone visibly wrong in every single state in which it has been used", said Maya Foa, the director of the ant-death penalty group Reprieve.
The third drug, cisatracurium, was the subject of an appeals process previous year in Dozier's case.
The state Supreme Court later overruled that decision. That decision paved the way for Dozier's scheduled execution. Dozier's execution at Ely State Prison would be the first in Nevada since 2006.