Nevada Supreme Court clears way for Dozier execution | NevadaAppeal.com

Nevada Supreme Court clears way for Dozier execution

Nevada death row inmate Scott Dozier, right, confers with Lori Teicher, a federal public defender involved in his case, during an appearance in Clark County District Court in Las Vegas on Aug. 17.

In an eight-page ruling issued less than a week after the hearing, the Nevada Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously cleared the way for the execution of Scott Raymond Dozier.

The high court ruled District Judge Jennifer Togliotti's court failed to require the federal public defender to follow statute in its challenge and "manifestly abused its discretion" when it even considered the challenge to the method of execution.

Federal public defenders challenged the three-drug cocktail corrections had spelled out to execute Dozier arguing the third drug, cistatracurium, could result in Dozier being awake and aware when the drug caused him to suffocate to death.

"The district court was presented with no relevant legal authority suggesting that a condemned Nevada inmate may challenge the method of execution in such a manner," the opinion states.

The justices wrote the district judge simply didn't follow recognized Nevada law in challenging the execution order. The "motion for determination of whether Scott Dozier's execution will proceed in a lawful manner," they wrote, doesn't exist in Nevada statute or case law.

The opinion says the justices "flatly reject the assertion that the district court had the inherent authority to consider the challenge because it had signed Dozier's warrant of execution."

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Dozier, 47, made it clear repeatedly for a year he wanted to be executed.

"You're in our court making an argument for a client that doesn't want that argument made on their behalf," Justice Kris Pickering told public defender David Anthony.

Dozier was convicted of first-degree murder of Jeremiah Miller who's mutilated body was found in a Las Vegas Dumpster.

The argument was over the drug cocktail corrections planned to use, not over whether Dozier should be executed.

That prompted Justice Ron Parraguirre to say Anthony wasn't representing Dozier but "looking to the future to set protocol for future clients."

Deputy Solicitor General Jordan Smith followed that by arguing if the court followed Togliotti's ruling barring "substantial risk in any execution, "it would halt any and all forms of execution."

While the high court ruling clears the way for Dozier's execution at the state level, federal public defenders still have the option of appealing the ruling to federal court.