Las Vegas Sun

July 16, 2019

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Execution manual details how Dozier will spend final hours

Ely prison execution chamber

Nevada Department of Corrections via AP

The viewing room looks into the execution chamber at Ely State Prison, Nov. 10, 2016. Nevada hasn’t carried out an execution since 2006.

Click to enlarge photo

This undated Nevada Department of Corrections photo shows death row inmate Scott Raymond Dozier.

In his final hours, Scott Raymond Dozier’s new state-issued jeans, short-sleeved, buttoned-up shirts and sneakers will differentiate him from the rest of the Ely State Prison population. His dinner will be that of his choosing.

That’s if his scheduled execution, the first in Nevada in 12 years, about 250 miles north of Las Vegas, goes as planned.

A last-minute lawsuit that could potentially derail it was filed in Las Vegas court Tuesday by the manufacturer of midazolam, one of three drugs in the deadly cocktail that would be pumped into Dozier’s veins.

If so, the inmate’s last moments — from sunrise to the evening moment when his body is placed into a body bag, removed from the death chamber and loaded into a coroner’s vehicle — are outlined in an “execution manual” put together by the Nevada Department of Corrections.

Dozier — sentenced to death in two barbarous murders in Nevada and Arizona — has waived an appeal process and stressed his wish of dying, no matter how painful a complication during the execution may be.

“I will say this, it’s been difficult,” Dozier told the Reno Gazette-Journal. “The last several months, since the stay (of execution) in November, have been the most emotionally fraught in my life in that it’s exceptionally difficult to live waiting for an answer for something as monumental and grave as this.”

“It’s exceptionally difficult to stay vigilant in being prepared for death,” he told the paper. “But peculiarly at the same time, I’m not nearly as prepared emotionally as I was at the initial time.”

Since Monday night, Dozier’s every movement has been monitored and documented by a staff member equipped with a hand-held camera.

In that same period, guards were scheduled to transport him from his room into his final holding cell. They will provide him the street-like clothes. His belongings will be rolled on a cart and inventoried in his presence.

By this time, he has made arrangements on where he wants his property to go. Each time he goes out to the yard, he will shower and get a new pair of jeans, a short-sleeve buttoned-up shirt, sneakers, socks and underwear. If the weather is brisk, he would receive a jacket. Every outing from the holding cell will be followed with a formal identification.

This morning, Dozier will have a “standard” breakfast and a “lunch sack.” The preparation of these meals, and their deliveries to Dozier’s cell, will be recorded.

If he wishes, Dozier will get a yard outing and a shower. Sometime after he returns, he will have time and tools to write letters, place phone calls and receive visits, including from family members who petitioned to attend. Clergy also will be there if the Dozier so desires.

Dozier, inmate No. 1011685, will then be escorted to a physical, where they will assess the veins that will receive the fatal IV line. The lower arms are preferred, but the crew will check his neck and legs just in case.

Sedatives will be available if Dozier wants them at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., an hour before the execution. “This sedative pre-medication is intended to provide a calming effect and shall not cause any lack of cognitive ability, incoherency or incompetence,” according to the manual.

The preparation and serving of his last meal at the holding cell will be recorded.

Restrained, Dozier will then be moved into his final destination, a medical room with white walls and floor, and blue doors, which is part of the entire 2,000-square-foot chamber that includes a holding cell, a private visiting room, two work rooms and bathrooms, and three viewing rooms. Readied a year ago, it will be the first time someone dies there.

On the cross-shaped bed, Dozier will be secured with soft restraints and he will rest his head on a support. “Inmate secured,” someone will say when the bed is positioned at an angle.

A medic will then puncture veins in Dozier’s arms, or possibly lower legs. Saline will drip first to test flow. A heart rate monitor will be used.

Lights in the viewing room — which will hold officials, family and selected members of the media — will dim and Dozier can choose to share his final words.

The flow of the experimental deadly cocktail of fentanyl, midazolam and cisatracurium will commence, Dozier’s life beginning to end.