Drug company files Supreme Court brief in death penalty case
August 14, 2018
A pharmaceutical company that seeks to prevent the state from using one of its drugs in the proposed lethal injection of death row inmate Scott Raymond Dozier says it has taken no position on capital punishment.
Alvogen Inc., says in a brief filed with the Nevada Supreme Court on Monday its sedative drug Midazolam hasn't been approved by the Federal Drug Administration for use in executions. And the company maintains the drug was obtained by the state Department of Corrections illegally from a third party firm.
The execution of Las Vegas killer Dozier has been delayed twice due to legal challenges.
Clark County District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez issued a temporary restraining order to allow the New Jersey firm a hearing to present its case.
The corrections department appealed the Gonzalez order in an effort to restart the death penalty process. It maintains Alvogen has no standing to file suit that will prevent or delay the execution. Dozier has maintained he wants to die by lethal injection by a three-drug combination.
Fifteen states have sided with Nevada in its effort to carry out the execution. At least one other company sided with Alvogen.
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The Supreme Court has decided to fast track the case but hasn't set a date for legal arguments.
Alvogen's lawyer Todd Bice of Las Vegas says in the brief the state has an adequate supply of another sedative drug Cisatracurium to carry out the execution. The company just doesn't want the state to use Midazolam.
Bice said there should be a district court hearing first to "show the illegitimate acquisition and misuse of Alvogen's product."
And he says the state has other drugs to carry out the execution into 2019. Alvogen, which operates in 35 countries, said the corrections department made three purchases "surreptitiously" of Midazolam from Cardinal Health.
"The state knew such acquisitions were illegitimate as evidenced by its efforts to conceal its actions even when faced with requests for disclosure," said the Alvogen brief.
The corrections department will have a chance to answer the allegations of Alvogen in its effort to clear the way to put Dozier to death.