Scott Dozier had been scheduled to die in November, but arguments surrounding one of the three drugs to be used postponed the execution.
“I don’t want to die,” Dozier told one reporter. “I just want to be dead.”
Of the 1,400 or so persons executed in America over the past 40-years, about 10% have abandoned their appeals. “In the legal community, they’re known as ‘volunteers’’, said Nicholas Wooldridge, a Las Vegas Criminal Defense attorney.
Unlike other death row prisoners, Dozier’s life prior to the killing had not been potholed by poverty, mental disability or childhood trauma. The killer had a privileged upbringing.
Dozier’s dad was a self-employed landscaper who traveled through America’s West to work on federal water projects. Dozier and his two siblings, moved with his parents every few years to upper-middle-class enclaves.
Dozier rebelled early and sold marijuana and LSD in high school. As a young adult he settled down, married his high school sweetheart and had a son.
Dozier drove a chariot in a Las Vegas show called “Winds of the Gods” following a short hitch in the military. By his mid-20s, Dozier was employed as a stripper and doing landscaping on his own. However, his main source of income was from selling ice and cooking.
“I like the idea of living outside the law,” Dozier told Mother Jones Magazine in January.
A maintenance worker at Dozier’s apartment complex noticed a foul smell from a dumpster. Inside was a suitcase filled with flies and maggots. Opening it, the worker found a mass of human hair, flesh and a blood-saturated towel.
Tattoos on the dismembered corpse’s shoulder were matched to 22-year-old Miller. Miller’s girlfriend had reported him missing seven days earlier.
Investigators learned Dozier had offered to help Miller acquire the ingredients for meth. Miller was to pay $12,000, and when he showed up, Dozier shot him, took the cash and chopped up the body.
If Dozier’s execution is carried out, the 47-year-old inmate will be the first inmate killed in Nevada since 2006 and he will become the 13th prisoner executed in America in 2018.
Dozier was convicted in Clark County in September 2007 of the death of 22-year-old Jeremiah Miller at La Concha Motel.
In its heyday, the La Concha, built in 1961, the motel played host to celebrities including Ronald Reagan, Ann-Margret, Flip Wilson, Muhammad Ali, and the Carpenters. The La Concha was featured in the 1995 film Casino, but fell on hard times, not unlike many of the guests.
The hotel shuttered in 2004 when the last prostitute was evicted.
As recently as Friday, a judge in Carson City ordered prison authorities to name the three drugs which will be used in Dozier’s execution and how and where they were acquired.
Midazolam was banned for executions in Arizona. Nationwide, civil rights groups have been critical of the drug’s use to execute the condemned.
Groups such as the ACLU claim the never-before used cocktail being prepared to kill Dozier, is faulty and would cause unnecessary suffering.
A physician testified the drug cisatracurium, the 2nd drug in the injection, could hide signs of discomfort such as convulsions or clenched fists. It was cisatracurium which became the focus of the November court challenge.
Lawyers for the state argue that under the required protocol, the cocktail which includes fentanyl — a powerful synthetic opioid, would not cause suffering.
Dozier has repeatedly told authorities he wants to die and doesn’t care if he suffers.
Nevada’s last execution was in 2006. Daryl Linnie Mack was convicted for a 1988 rape and murder. Mack volunteered for lethal injection.
America has conflicted views on capital punishment. With a president who extolls the death penalty in tweets and full-page newspaper ads, exonerations have fueled unease about the system’s failures.
Death sentences have fallen and, as appeals drag on, many condemned will die of old age first.
It seems Americans like the idea of the ultimate punishment — just as long as we don’t have to kill anyone.