Nevada’s execution of a man convicted of murder was halted on Wednesday, after Alvogen, the manufacturer of one of the drugs that was to be used in the lethal injection argued that the state had obtained its product illicitly.
A district court judge issued a temporary restraining order preventing Nevada officials from using the drug in the execution. It was the first time that a pharmaceutical manufacturer has been able to stop an execution — at least temporarily. It is likely to intensify the battle between officials in death-penalty states and drug makers that object to their products being used to kill inmates.
Nevada had planned to use three drugs in the execution of Scott Dozier, who has been on death row since 2007: one as a sedative, one to paralyze him, and the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl to help kill him. The execution would have been the first to use fentanyl, which kills thousands of Americans every year and is at the forefront of the nation’s overdose crisis.
Alvogen says on its website that it tries to prevent its product midazolam from use in executions. But the Nevada Department of Corrections announced last Tuesday that it was adding midazolam to its three-drug lethal injection combination after another drug expired, and on Friday it distributed photos of the packaging with Alvogen labels — a response to a request from the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada for more information about the drugs’ origins.
The pharmaceutical company said it learned its product would be used when it started to receive press inquiries on July 7.
We will continue to follow the story– the next scheduled event is a status check on September 10th. In the meantime:
You can read more about Scott Dozier’s case here: The Marshall Project: Scott Dozier
For more info on the problems with lethal injection click here: Lethal Injection Problems