A few hours before Nevada was to launch the nation's first lethal injection with the powerful opiate Fentanyl, a judge on Wednesday stopped the execution following a challenge by a pharmaceutical company that was against the state's plan to use one of its products
Nevada's plans to use Fentanyl as part of his execution of Scott Dozier – a convicted murderer who has said he wants lethal injection progress – made him the youngest in a whole range of states to turn to drug procurement to death sentences.  While some other states have turned to relatively unknown chemicals, Nevada's plan to rely on fentanyl, a synthetic painkiller that helped fuel the country's ongoing opioid epidemic. Depending on what happens at Dozier, Nebraska could eventually carry out the first Fentanyl-supported execution, which this state wants to do this summer.
Dozier, 47, was convicted of murdering a man in a Las Vegas hotel. He cut him to pieces and stole his money in 2002. Dozier was also clear about his desire to have the execution executed.
"Life in prison is not life," he told the Las Vegas Review Journal Week. "It's not life, man, it's just survival … If people say they'll kill me, come along."
Although Dozier does not oppose the execution, Nevada officials faced a late challenge from Alvogen, a pharmaceutical company that said the state was "unlawfully acquired" drug, the sedative midazolam. This drug has become controversial for its use in executions, and Alvogen has highlighted some of these incidents in court, including the botched execution in Oklahoma in 201
Alvogen asked a judge to stop Nevada from using his drug and demanded the return of the product. Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez, head of civil division at the County Court in Clark County, has held a hearing against the state on Wednesday to use Midazolam in Dozier's execution, a court spokeswoman said. Gonzalez also set a status check for September.
According to Nevada's execution protocol, the state's plan on Wednesday was to inject Dozier with three drugs: midazolam to calm him down, fentanyl to make him lose consciousness, and then cisatracurium to paralyze his muscles. Medical experts warned that the final drug might make the procedure more risky, and argue that if one of the first two medications is not administered properly or if the paralytic makes him unable to move or breathe, lecturers may potentially remain conscious (19659009) Nevada Department of Corrections spokeswoman refused to comment before the hearing to comment on the company's claim or allegations that the state had unlawfully obtained the drug, citing the pending court case. She did not respond immediately to a request for a comment after Gonzalez's decision on the next steps of the state.
Alvogen said in a statement after the hearing that it was pleased that Gonzalez issued a preliminary injunction blocking the use of Midazolam in the execution. which was planned for Wednesday night. Alvogen said it "does not tolerate the use of any of its drug products, including midazolam, for use in state-sponsored executions."
A lawyer for Dozier could not be reached on Wednesday after the decision for a comment. The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada had called on the state to stop the execution and accused the state officials of a "monstrous" lack of transparency in terms of execution.
The Alvogen Challenge in Nevada last year supported a drug trafficker's attempts to block Arkansas from using a chemical that sold it in a planned series of executions. The legal maneuver eventually failed and Arkansas went on to carry out four executions within eight days with this drug.
The legal clashes between states and pharmaceutical companies have highlighted the opposition of companies to their chemicals used in executions, forcing states to seek to preserve the chemicals they desire for lethal injections. In response, states like Ohio, Florida and Oklahoma have introduced or suggested new and untested combinations of drugs. States have also considered measures beyond the lethal injection.
Oklahoma said this year it would switch to nitrogen gas for all executions, while other states have considered other methods, including firing squads in Utah and the electric chair in Tennessee. Dozier's execution was discontinued because of legal disputes against the drugs involved. Nevada did not originally plan to use Midazolam in its execution, but officials said they had to switch to it after its supply of diazepam – a sedative better known as Valium – had expired.
Nevada last executed an execution in 2006.  Further reading:
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