Their Client Wants to Die; They're Worried About How

Lawyers for death row inmate not asking for a stay, but wouldn't mind hitting 'pause'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2017 4:59 PM CST
Inmate Wants to Die, but Lawyers Worried About Method
This undated Nevada Department of Corrections photo shows death row inmate Scott Raymond Dozier, who was convicted in 2007 of robbing, killing and dismembering 22-year-old man in Las Vegas, and was convicted in Arizona in 2005 of another murder and dismemberment near Phoenix.   (Nevada Department of Corrections via AP)

Scott Dozier is scheduled to die via lethal injection Nov. 14, and he's ready for his execution—he requested last year that his appeals stop, and he has an agreement with his defense attorneys not to seek a delay—but his lawyers have concerns about the method that will be used. During a court hearing Monday in Nevada, they told the judge they are not asking for a stay of execution, but that they want to make sure Dozier is executed humanely, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. Medical experts have raised concerns with the drugs the state is planning to use to execute Dozier; the combination of fentanyl, diazepam, and cisatracurium has never been used before and experts say the cisatracurium, a paralytic, could mask signs of pain and suffering Dozier experiences during the execution. Even the judge at Monday's hearing expressed concerns about "new frontiers as far as the drugs and the protocol and it happening."

Dozier, 46—convicted of two murders, per the Las Vegas Sun—has reportedly told the judge in person and in writing that he wants the execution to proceed, and has said he's not concerned about pain and suffering. But "these issues pose a moral dilemma. That’s the best I can say," Assistant Federal Public Defender David Anthony said after Monday's hearing. "As a defense attorney, I try to help people and save people, and so it creates a moral dilemma." Anthony noted that the state's chief medical officer, who designed the drug cocktail that will be used, resigned last week and that he had not yet discussed the new medical officials overseeing the execution with his client; their lack of experience could make things riskier, he argued, per the Los Angeles Times. "It’s not a shame for anyone here if we need to push the pause button," he said. Dozier's next court date is Wednesday. (More lethal injection stories.)

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