NV Supreme Court issues order to move forward with execution using controversial paralytic
The Nevada Supreme Court has issued an order allowing the Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC) to move forward with the execution of convicted murderer Scott Dozier using a controversial paralytic drug.
On Thursday, May 10, the Supreme Court ruled that the district court "manifestly abused its discretion by considering the execution protocol challenge."
The state's supply of the sedative drug to be used in the three-drug cocktail, Diazepam, has expired. It remains to be seen if NDOC would be able to purchase the drugs again, since many pharmaceutical companies don't supply drugs for executions for moral objections.
Supreme Court justices heard oral arguments on Tuesday, May 8, exactly six months after a Clark County judge put the execution on hold.
Tuesday's oral arguments began when lawyers made their cases before the seven Supreme Court justices in a 90-minute hearing.
Nevada deputy solicitor general Jordan Smith spoke first regarding the state's proposed three-drug lethal cocktail, which has never been used for an execution in the United States.
Smith argued that the cocktail would present 'no substantial risk' to Dozier other than the risk inherent in any execution because of the possibility of human error.
He claimed that if the Supreme Court were to rule the state can't use the three-drug cocktail, it would essentially be a de facto moratorium on the death penalty in Nevada.
"The Constitution does not require the avoidance of all risk of pain during an execution," Smith said.
"The District Court found that when the protocol is carried out as written, there is no risk, let alone a substantial risk, of pain, awareness or air hunger."
Opponents have criticized the state's lethal cocktail, particularly the paralytic drug Cisatracurium, arguing that the combination could mask possible suffering.
Dozier has maintained that he wants to die, but his federal public defender David Anthony reiterated that Dozier supports the litigation moving forward and would prefer a humane execution as opposed to a painful one.
A NDOC spokeswoman tells News 4 that the department of corrections should get a new execution warrant for Dozier on Monday, May 14 and from there an execution date will be scheduled.
This is a developing story. Check back with News 4-Fox 11 for updates.
READ the full Supreme Court ruling below: