On Tuesday the defense team for Nevada death row inmate Scott Dozier argued to remove a paralyzing element from the state's execution drug cocktail.
Our affiliate KSNV has been following Dozier's case since he was convicted of capital murder for the 2002 mutilation death of 22-year-old Jeremiah Miller. Miller's torso was found cut in two inside of a suitcase; the rest of his remains were never recovered.
His attorneys said that paralyzing him would be like suffocating him to death and called the drug inhumane.
Dozier is set to be put to death on Nov. 14.
Public defender David Anthony argued against the use of using a paralytic.
“They wouldn't use a paralytic on a dog,” he said. “And it’s our position that if it’s not good enough for a dog, then it shouldn't be good enough for a person, either.”
While Dozier was not present during Tuesday’s hearing, he has made it clear that he wants to die and wants no further appeals. During a previous hearing he told Judge Jennifer Togliatti that he wanted to die no matter the amount of pain.
“I will gladly write a letter every single week, just letting you know nothing has changed between now and then,” he said. “I'll write it every Sunday.”
But the ACLU just because he says he wants to die, doesn't justify the state violating the the Eighth Amendment which states that "cruel and unusual punishments [shall not be] inflicted."
"Just because he's a volunteer doesn't mean the constitution goes up in smoke," said Lauren Kaufman, staff attorney with the ACLU.
It's been more than 10 years since the last execution in Nevada, and the three-drug cocktail being prepared for Dozier has never been used before.
The state argued there is no medical proof or science showing the paralytic element is inhumane.
Judge Togliatti ruled in favor of the defense’s request to allow a medical expert to testify. That witness will appear in court on Friday.
According to the Associated Press, the Nevada official responsible for Dozier's execution shocked court officials on Wednesday by announcing his resignation.
"Questions arose about the upcoming execution of a Nevada death row inmate who wants to die, with a disclosure in court that the state official who signed off on the untried three-drug protocol has resigned. Clark County District Court Judge Jennifer Togliatti responded with surprise Tuesday when she was told that Dr. John DiMuro quit Monday as chief state medical officer."
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