Fentanyl Citrate is a Class II controlled substance and one of the marketplaces most powerful opioids. Normally administered by injection, patch or lozenge, it is often prescribed for difficult-to-manage pain and persons with a tolerance to other opioids.
Fentanyl has been in the news due to the rapid rise in overdoses resulting in death. The type connected with overdoses is in powder or pill form and is often blended with heroin in labs to increase the “high” produced. Street names include Apache, China girl, jackpot, and TNT as well as others.
Nevada’s Department of Correction officials intended on using fentanyl to execute Scott Raymond Dozier who also would have been injected with diazepam, a drug similar to Valium. The third drug, cisatracurium would have caused Dozier to suffocate if he wasn’t made unconscious first. The use of cisatracurium would have masked Dozier’s possible suffering.
“Death by suffocation is cruel and unusual and violates the Eighth Amendment,” said a letter sent to NDOC by Nevada’s Civil Liberties Union.
Capital Punishment In Nevada
Nevada is one of 31 states with the death penalty and the last inmate executed in Nevada was Daryl Mack in 2006.
“A decision by Nevada to execute Mr. Dozier has serious implications for other death row inmates who do not want to die,” said the NCLU letter. “To acquiesce to Mr. Dozier’s request will lift the moratorium for all Nevada death row inmates.”
In Nevada, first-degree murder is punishable by death if one of the numerous aggravating circumstances are present. These factors include:
- The murder was committed by a person under sentence of imprisonment.
- The murder was committed by a person who, at any time before a penalty hearing is conducted for the murder, is or has been convicted of:
- Another murder and the provisions of subsection 12 do not otherwise apply to that other murder; or
- A felony involving the use or threat of violence to the person of another and the provisions of subsection 4 do not otherwise apply to that felony.
- The murder was committed by a person who knowingly created a great risk of death to more than one person using a weapon, device or course of action which would normally be hazardous to the lives of more than one person.
- The murder was committed while the person was engaged, alone or with others, in the commission of, or an attempt to commit or flight after committing or attempting to commit, any robbery, arson in the first degree, burglary, invasion of the home or kidnapping in the first degree, and the person charged:
- Killed or attempted to kill the person murdered; or
- Knew or had reason to know that life would be taken or lethal force used.
- The murder was committed to avoid or prevent a lawful arrest or to effect an escape from custody.
- The murder was committed by a person, for himself or another, to receive money or any other thing of monetary value.
- The murder was committed upon a peace officer or firefighter who was killed while engaged in the performance of his official duty or because of an act performed in his official capacity, and the defendant knew or reasonably should have known that the victim was a peace officer or firefighter. For this subsection, “peace officer” means.
- The murder involved torture or the mutilation of the victim.
- The murder was committed upon one or more persons at random and without apparent motive.
- The murder was committed upon a person less than 14 years of age.
- The murder was committed upon a person because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, gender identity or expression or sexual orientation of that person.
- The defendant has, in the immediate proceeding, been convicted of more than one offense of murder in the first or second degree. For this subsection, a person shall be deemed to have been convicted of a murder at the time the jury verdict of guilt is rendered or upon pronouncement of guilt by a judge or judges sitting without a jury.
- The person, alone or with others, subjected or attempted to subject the victim of the murder to nonconsensual sexual penetration immediately before, during or immediately after the commission of the murder.
- The murder was committed on the property of a public or private school, at an activity sponsored by a public or private school or on a school bus while the bus was engaged in its official duties by a person who intended to create a great risk of death or substantial bodily harm to more than one person by means of a weapon, device or course of action that would normally be hazardous to the lives of more than one person.
- The murder was committed with the intent to commit, cause, aid, further or conceal an act of terrorism.
Condemned Wants To Die
Scott Raymond Dozier wants to die. The debate raging now in Nevada may outlive him. Dozier’s defense lawyer, David Anthony was in a quandary when he appeared before a judge arguing that his client shouldn’t be executed with an untested lethal injection.
Dozier has asked Nevada courts to stop all appeals, end the process and move his execution forward.
Hence the quandary. Nevada doesn’t want to kill Dozier with untested drugs, yet he intends to drop all appeals and be executed by lethal injection.
“These issues pose a moral dilemma,” Anthony told reports outside the court.