Nevada to be First in the U.S. to Paralyze a Prisoner to Death

Court Hearing on Proposed Experimental Execution Method Tuesday

Affiliate: ACLU of Nevada
October 31, 2017 10:30 am

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LAS VEGAS—On November 14, if its first scheduled execution in 11 years proceeds, Nevada will become the first state in the United States to use a paralytic as the lethal drug in a lethal injection execution.

The State of Nevada has released few details about its new execution procedure. What is known is that the protocol is experimental, involving drugs never before used in an execution, and that the state’s plans for the execution continue to change, even though the scheduled execution draws near.

To date, the state has withheld information about its new execution protocol, so there is no way for the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada to verify whether Mr. Dozier will still be awake or sensate when he is paralyzed. In court, the Nevada Attorney General’s Office said the state will file an amended execution protocol following scrutiny from a single expert.

The potential for a torturous execution is very real. And the ACLU of Nevada has grave concerns about the preparedness of the prison staffers tasked with carrying out the execution in just two weeks.

A hearing about the execution will take place at 12 p.m. Tuesday at the Regional Justice Center.

“We are horrified by what little we know about the Nevada Department of Corrections’ plan to execute Scott Dozier. The state’s admission in court that it plans to use a paralytic drug to kill an inmate for the first time in the U.S. takes “unusual punishment” to a new level. And with so much secrecy around the execution plan, which has not been finalized, how can Nevadans even know simple facts such as whether the prison staff will be adequately trained to implement this experimental execution cocktail in a constitutional manner?” ACLU of Nevada Legal Director Amy Rose said.

The ACLU of Nevada is taking action to get Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval to intervene and delay any executions until a reasonable lethal injection plan is drafted, made public and vetted by the courts. The ACLU of Nevada has launched an online petition expressing concern about the state’s plans for execution. The petition had been signed nearly 600 times as of Monday afternoon and will be presented to the governor next week.

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