Las Vegas Sun

July 16, 2019

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State Supreme Court agrees to expedite hearing execution case

CARSON CITY — The Nevada Supreme Court has agreed to give expedited consideration to whether a paralytic drug may be used in the execution of Las Vegas killer Scott R. Dozier, who has asked to die.

Chief Justice Michael Cherry signed an order Thursday ordering defense lawyers to file an answer in 20 days to an appeal from the state Department of Corrections, which wants to use cisatracurium as one of the three drugs in the execution.

Cherry gave the Corrections Department, represented by the state Attorney General’s Office, 11 days to reply to the defense arguments.

Cherry also denied a motion by the Federal Public Defender’s Office and private attorney Thomas Ericsson asking that the court not consider the state’s argument that the supply of cisatracurium will expire on April 1 and another execution drug on May 1.

There was no indication if oral arguments will be heard or if the justices will decide the issue based on the briefs. Cherry said the submission of additional briefs “may assist the court in resolving this matter.”

Dozier was scheduled to die Nov. 14, but the execution was delayed while the battle continues through the courts.