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Frustrated Nevada Death Row Inmate Begs State To Kill Him: 'Just Get It Over With'

“I don’t even really want to die. But I’d rather die than spend my life in prison.”

By Ethan Harfenist

It's just about the last thing you'd expect to hear from a death row inmate.

But Scott Raymond Dozier, a Nevada prisoner whose execution was already delayed twice, wants the state to “just get it over with.”

The court battle over his impending death is inflicting so much anguish on him and his family, Dozier says, that a lethal injection is preferable at this point.

The state should “just get it done, just do it effectively and stop fighting about it,” Dozier told the Associated Press on Wednesday during a phone call from Ely State Prison. “I want to be really clear about this. This is my wish. They should stop punishing me and my family for their inability to carry out the execution.”

Dozier’s case is highly unusual, however, making it much more complicated of a matter than “just get[ting] it done.” This is because Nevada had planned to use an untested and controversial drug concoction to kill Dozier, resulting in the series of rulings and delays that have caused him and his family to wait—and wait—for the inevitable.

As of Thursday, Dozier’s fate will be determined by the Nevada Supreme Court, which will decide if drug manufacturers can prevent the state’s Department of Corrections from using their products in the execution, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

Nevada was going to use three drugs: the sedative midazolam, the powerful opioid fentanyl (which, in its street form, has been responsible for a huge uptick in overdose deaths across the country), and the paralytic cisatracurium.

But on July 11, the Review-Journal reported that Clark County District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez ruled in favor of Alvogen, the company that produces midazolam, after it sued Nevada on the grounds that it had fraudulently acquired their product to use in executions. Gonzalez issued a temporary restraining order, while the company asked the state to return its supply of the sedative back to them. The ruling halted Dozier’s execution mere hours before it was to take place. It would have been the first execution to take place in Nevada since 2006.

Other pharmaceutical companies have resisted having their medications used in lethal injections, resulting in nationwide drug shortages that are holding up executions across the country. On July 30, AP reported that Gonzalez permitted Hikma Pharmaceuticals to join Alvogen to prevent the fentanyl it makes from being used. A third drug company is expected to join the other two firms in suing.

As these potentially lethal pharmaceuticals remain in legal limbo, others have joined Dozier’s call to “just get it done.” The Review-Journal reported on Monday that attorneys general from 15 other states aired their support for Nevada to carry on with its execution of Dozier, who was convicted and sentenced to death in 2007 over the murder of Jeremiah Miller, whose dismembered and decapitated corpse was found in a Las Vegas dumpster, and a drug-related murder in Phoenix.

Dozier, for his part, has dropped his appeals and has welcomed his execution with unsettling certainty. In a July interview with VICE News, Dozier expressed his excitement over potentially getting injected with an opioid that’s killing people everywhere. “You guys get pharmaceutical grade fentanyl and just bang me up, man. Use a shit ton.”

He added that he has accepted his fate. “I’m wholly counting on not missing anything,” he told VICE. “Like the one thing I’m expecting from this is to be wholly unconcerned with this plane of existence. So if I’m missing something still, I’m going to be either out or super-pissed.”

As of this week, Dozier changed his tune slightly; it seems the only thing he is “super-pissed” about is not dying already.

“I don’t even really want to die,” Dozier told AP on Wednesday. “But I’d rather die than spend my life in prison.”

[Credit:Nevada Department of Corrections]

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