A drug company’s lawsuit halted the Wednesday night execution of condemned killer Scott Dozier about nine hours before he was set to die.
District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez heard arguments in the civil case for about two hours before barring the Nevada Department of Corrections from using one of the three drugs it had planned to include in Dozier’s lethal injection.
The Department of Corrections later announced that it had postponed the execution.
“The execution, which was ordered by the court, will not take place until further notice,” according to the announcement.
Dozier, 47, was to be executed at 8 p.m. at Ely State Prison with a drug combination never before used in capital punishment. It would have been the first execution in Nevada since 2006.
District Judge Jennifer Togliatti signed Dozier’s execution warrant last month.
Alvogen Inc., which started distributing the sedative midazolam in August, filed a lawsuit Tuesday that accused the Department of Corrections of surreptitiously obtaining the drug for use in the execution.
In an April 20 letter distributed to governors, attorneys general and prison directors in each of the 31 states that carry the death penalty, the multibillion-dollar drug company “wrote in the clearest possible terms that Alvogen strongly objects to use of its products in capital punishment,” according to the lawsuit.
Within days of learning that their product was obtained by Nevada prison authorities, the company moved to stop the execution, arguing that Alvogen would suffer “immediate and irreparable harm” should it proceed.
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