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First execution in 12 years

Nevada plans to carry out its first execution in 12 years using a never-before-tried combination of drugs that drew a court challenge over concerns that a convicted murderer could suffer during the lethal injection.

Scott Raymond Dozier is scheduled to die July 11, Department of Corrections spokeswoman Brooke Santina said Wednesday, a day after a judge in Las Vegas signed the death warrant.

The state Supreme Court decided last month not to stop the execution on procedural grounds, despite challenges by lawyers and a rights group who argued that the procedure would be less humane than putting down a pet. There also were concerns that some of the state's drugs would have expired.

"We have what we need to complete the execution order," Santina told The Associated Press. "The same three drugs. We have some that are not expired."

Dozier's death warrant was signed by Clark County District Court Judge Jennifer Togliatti, who last November blocked the execution over concerns that one drug in the three-drug cocktail would immobilize the inmate and mask any signs of pain and suffering. The warrant didn't address her previous concerns.

Batches of the disputed muscle paralytic, cisatracurium, began expiring April 1, but Santina has said the state had supplies that were good until Nov. 30.

The sedative diazepam, the powerful painkiller fentanyl and cisatracurium have never been used for lethal injections in any state. Diazepam is commonly known as Valium. Fentanyl is synthetic opioid that has been blamed for overdose deaths nationwide during an opioid epidemic.

An American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada official called for Gov. Brian Sandoval or prisons chief James Dzurenda to stop the planned execution until questions about the process and drugs are answered.

"The (state) Supreme Court never decided whether Mr. Dozier would experience extreme pain, or if he would suffocate to death, or if this protocol is constitutionally adequate," Rose said Wednesday. She conceded that her group didn't have legal standing to act on Dozier's behalf unless he asks for it.

Santina said prisons officials "have a court order and it is our duty to carry out that order."

Dozier, 47, has said he wants to die and doesn't really care if he experiences pain. But he did let a team of federal public defenders challenge the drugs and method that Nevada prison officials planned to use.

Dozier has been on death row since 2007 for convictions in separate murders in Phoenix and Las Vegas. He has said repeatedly that he wants to be put to death as soon as possible and doesn't care what drugs are used.



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