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Death Row Inmate to State: Just Kill Me Already

Convicted murderer Scott Dozier has already had his execution postponed twice. He says the state should “just get it done.”

TDCJ/MEGA/NewscomTDCJ/MEGA/NewscomA convicted murderer on death row in Nevada has one simple request: He wants the state to kill him.

By all accounts, 47-year-old Scott Dozier is a bad man. He already had one second-degree murder conviction under his belt when he was sentenced to death in 2007 for first-degree murder. In the latter case, the torso of Jeremiah Miller was eventually found crammed in a suitcase and dumped in the trash. The body was missing its head, arms, calves, and feet.

Dozier denies having committed both murders. But he says he's ready to die anyway, especially after his lethal injection was postponed for the second time last month. Nevada should "just get it done, just do it effectively and stop fighting about it," he tells the Associated Press.

Civil libertarians and classical liberals have long argued against capital punishment on the basis that the government shouldn't kill its own citizens. "The death penalty is uncivilized in theory and unfair and inequitable in practice," the ACLU argues. "Well-publicized problems with the death penalty process—wrongful convictions, arbitrary application, and high costs—have convinced many libertarians that capital punishment is just one more failed government program that should be scrapped," Ben Jones writes at Libertarianism.org.

But what about cases where the defendant wants to die? In this case, one might argue that the state wouldn't be murdering Dozier; it would simply be granting his last wish. Then again, while the state of Nevada wants to kill Dozier, it has no desire to let him go out on his own terms: he was put on suicide watch following the most recent postponement of his execution.

Dozier claims he's not suicidal. He doesn't even want to die that much; he just prefers death to prison. But his execution has turned into a complicated legal affair that sheds still more light on the messy business of capital punishment.

Hours before Dozier was set to be executed in July, Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez of Nevada's Eighth Judicial District Court said the state couldn't use a sedative called midazolam. That's because the drug's manufacturer, Alvogen, successfully argued that "serious harm" would be done to its business if the sedative was used in an execution.

Since then, the makers of the other two drugs that were set to be administered Dozier have also joined the fight. Neither Hikma Pharmaceuticals—which makes the opioid fentanyl—nor Sandoz Inc.—which manufactures the muscle relaxant cisatracurium—want the state to kill Dozier with their products.

Dozier, though, just wants it to all be over. "I want to be really clear about this. This is my wish," he tells the AP. "They should stop punishing me and my family for their inability to carry out the execution."

It's not like the state of Nevada disagrees. The attorney general's office says the drug companies are simply trying to improve their public image. "For Alvogen (and similarly situated drug manufacturers), this lawsuit has little downside. Whether it ultimately wins or loses, Alvogen scores points in the public relations arena just for bringing this lawsuit," lawyers for the AG's office wrote late last month in a petition to the Nevada Supreme Court. On Monday, 15 states filed an amici curiae with the Supreme Court expressing similar sentiments.

Dozier agrees with what those states are saying. "It just seems like they're a little late to the party on that whole theory," he told the Reno Gazette Journal earlier this week, referring to the drug companies. "I don't really think they care. I think they started caring when it started affecting them, bottom line."

As Reason has documented in the past, states often operate in the shadows when it comes to obtaining and administering death penalty drugs. In one instance, Texas even sought to procure banned drugs from a shady Indian company. There have also been questions regarding how humane death by lethal injection really is. Transparency is sorely needed, particularly in Dozier's case, where Alvogen has accused Nevada officials of illegally purchasing midazolam.

For now, Dozier has no choice but to keep waiting. The next court date for the case isn't until September 10, and prison officials want his execution to be rescheduled for November. "To be clear, this is actually a state of torture, without question," he told the Gazette Journal. "I mean at least now I know nothing's going to happen before September 10, so that's better."

And while he's no suicidal, the whole ordeal has made think about whether state-assisted suicide might be the way to go. "I've been thinking about writing them and telling them, 'You know what, would you let (the drugs) be used for state-assisted suicide, because I am in a terminal situation and I'm suffering?" he told the Gazette Journal.

Photo Credit: TDCJ/MEGA/Newscom

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  • Longtobefree||

    guillotine; gravity never sues.

  • Hank Phillips||

    True. This entire article reads like a Philippine Islands scene out of Stephenson's novel Cryptonomicon. Using confiscated smack for lethal injections would at least stop First Responders™ from reselling it on the black market.

  • croaker||

    There has to be a lot of heroin in the police evidence locker. Problem solved.

    Though the only death penalty I approve of is a the time and scene of the crime, preferably at the hands of the intended victim.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Looter infiltrators into the Libertarian Party evidently believe that killing a few taxpayers (to set an example, show we're serious) to pay for prison guards, chow, medical care and upkeep is better than executing a single criminal. On January 16, 1920, many kidded themselves into believing prison terms for beer and wine would require no killing by police. Twelve hundred murders later, along with dry agent suicides and retaliations by organized mischief, the liberal party platform began to make sense and repeal was enacted after complete economic collapse. The point is that executing chainsaw murderers to save taxpayers from involuntary servitude is ethically correct and constitutionally legal. Then again, slipping a joker into the Libertarian Party platform to make us all look like fools is also legal.

  • Ben of Houston||

    Except it's cheaper and a lot easier to just put them in prison eternally.
    Then you have the issue that if there is a mistake, you cannot rectify it later.

    Finally, what's the point? Petty vengeance? Compared to life imprisonment, there is no increased protection offered by the death penalty.

    Even accepting the death penalty as an ethical choice, there's no point to having it and several decent reasons to not use it.

  • hello.||

    Except it's cheaper and a lot easier to just put them in prison eternally.

    Only because of the multiple rounds of mandatory appeals at taxpayer expense that bleeding heart murder sympathizers like you have succeeded in enacting.

    "Now that we made this process so fucking expensive that it's cheaper to warehouse him for 50 years just look how inefficient the death penalty is."

  • hello.||

    This is the same retarded horse shit by the way that Ronal Bailey likes to trot out when he's lecturing on how coal gas and nuclear energy cannot compete in the marketplace and wind and solar are the only economically viable energy sources. Conveniently leaving out the fact that it was regulation that made those technologies so expensive and that the alternative is heavily subsidized by the government in order to make it economically viable. It barely qualifies as sophistry because it only works on people as stupid as you are.

  • Ben of Houston||

    I'm not sympathizing with the murderers as those who were falsely convicted.

    The multiple rounds of mandatory appeals are necessary for the simple fact that we have repeatedly found people on death row that are innocent. Some of them posthumously.

    Sorry, but that's a requirement before we do something irreversible. You can't omit this.Sicne it's a requirement, it has to be factored in.

    To copy your style, that's like talking about the Elon Musk hyperloop without mentioning the energy used by the vacuum pumps and the large space between cars. It's not a removable feature without disastrous consequences.

  • Ben of Houston||

    I'm not sympathizing with the murderers as those who were falsely convicted.

    The multiple rounds of mandatory appeals are necessary for the simple fact that we have repeatedly found people on death row that are innocent. Some of them posthumously.

    Sorry, but that's a requirement before we do something irreversible. You can't omit this.Sicne it's a requirement, it has to be factored in.

    To copy your style, that's like talking about the Elon Musk hyperloop without mentioning the energy used by the vacuum pumps and the large space between cars. It's not a removable feature without disastrous consequences.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    The appeals process is normally over ten years anymore, sometimes far longer. Three years is probably enough. Although I would increase the evidentiary requirements for capital punishment to avoid wrongful conviction scenarios.

  • Longtobefree||

    The true purpose of the death penalty should be to make the statement that humans are capable of acts so horrific that ending the life of the perpetrator is the only thing society can do.

  • Giant Realistic Flying Tiger||

    ...what the FUCK are you even trying to say here? This is word saladry even Righteous Feelz cannot compete with!

    Also, 1920? What, were you there, you senile fuck?

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    1920 refers to when Prohibition became law.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Hank also gets tiny chinee chubby from rambling on about obscure events from around 90 or so,years ago. I perceive that he feels it makes him look learned.

    It does not.

  • lap83||

    And while he's no suicidal, the whole ordeal has made think about whether state-assisted suicide might be the way to go. "I've been thinking about writing them and telling them, 'You know what, would you let (the drugs) be used for state-assisted suicide, because I am in a terminal situation and I'm suffering?" he told the Gazette Journal.

    The death penalty can't be entrusted to the state, but state-assisted suicide totally could. Wow, this is garbage.

  • lap83||

    "but state-assisted suicide" minus state, sorry redundant

  • Dillinger||

    still the state killing him

  • Rossami||

    The judge is just wrong. The pharma company's suit should have been thrown out for a lack of standing. Once the customer (in this case, the state) bought the drug, the company gets no more say in how it is used. This would be like a publisher arguing that you can't read their book because you might say mean things about it. That's just daft.

    Note that the pharma company has every right to choose who they do or don't sell to. But they have to make that choice before the sale. There's no "backsies" in contract law.

  • Galane||

    Nintendo has at times sent out nasty letters an emails to websites using screenshots of their games, when the sites had anything negative to say about the games.

    Essentially "You may use screenshots and other materials from our games for reviews, but only if you only say good things about them."

  • Ben of Houston||

    Nintendo also has a nasty habit of violating a lot of American laws, substituting their Japanese counterparts. That's not legal under fair use.

  • colorblindkid||

    Drug companies refusing to provide execution meds are like pipeline protesters: virtue signalling useless idiots who make themselves feel better with moral victories, even though they don't change anything about the base problem and make things worse by requiring more dangerous and less humane alternatives.

  • colorblindkid||

    Also, I think anybody with a life sentence without the chance of parole should have the option of execution.

    In my opinion, there is a pretty strong ethical argument for execution being more humane than life in prison without a chance of parole.

    I have no moral qualms about the death penalty. It is entirely ethical. I only oppose it because even if one innocent person might get executed, the risk is far too high, and there will never be a system where that risk is eliminated.

  • NoVaNick||

    I am against the death penalty for the same reasons, but if you are going to have it, why pretend to be "humane"? I am not saying to bring back impalement or burning at the stake, but I don't think a bullet to the back of the head is inhumane, probably less so than the medical torture that lethal injections have become.

  • colorblindkid||

    Exactly. It's not like the government wants the process to be long and painful. The good-intentioned activists who get companies to not provide drugs do not stop any executions. They only make them more painful and cruel. I don't give a shit about good intentions on any issue. I give a shit about the real life consequences.

  • hello.||

    That's because the drug's manufacturer, Alvogen, successfully argued that "serious harm" would be done to its business if the sedative was used in an execution.

    Absolute bullshit. Midazolam has been off patent for about 20 years. There is no one manufacturer and no risk of loss of reputation since Alvogen did not discover or develop the drug. It is also already used extensively in palliative care for terminal patients for the exact same purpose that the state would be using it for. Hard to argue you're going to lose business for conking out a death row inmate rather than somebody's cancer-ridden granny.

  • hello.||

    Come to think of it would anyone like to chip in on a shipment to Hihn's nursing home?

  • Eddy||

    The makers are fentanyl are worried about their public image? I should think so.

  • Eddy||

    What happened to hanging and shooting?

    Will the rope and gun industries file protests?

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    If police or prosecutors who broke the rules to 'get' a defendent were running the risk of being tried for attempted murder, I would be in favor of a limited death penalty for dangerous animals like Gacy. As matters stand, I oppose the death penalties until the danger of government malfeasance is balanced by at least some chance of real penalties for same.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "The death penalty is uncivilized in theory..."

    Citation needed.

    What constitutes being "civilized" is a matter of personal opinion - not established fact.

  • hello.||

    Civil libertarians and classical liberals have long argued against capital punishment

    You should probably let the classical liberals who enshrined it into US law in on that.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    I'm amused by those claiming that capital punishment is "unconstitutional" when it's explicitly mentioned in the Constitution.

  • Galane||

    Look up Joseph Edward Duncan III. Multiple murders including child molestation, rape, sodomy and murder. The last one hes in prison for was beating three people to death with a hammer, kidnapping and raping / sodomizing a young boy and girl, then murdering the boy by shooting him.

    No ambiguity that he's guilty of that crime and several others just as vile. He shouldn't get a 'humane' death. It should be horrible yet quick. Though as sick in the head as he is, likely nothing would terrify him.

    What I think is crazy is that there are people who figure a walking pile of crap like him should get a life sentence, while demanding that any unborn child should be eligible for a death sentence for any reason or no reason at all.

  • tommhan||

    Just bring back hanging, electrocution or firing squad. Too much litigation with using meds.

  • tlapp||

    Could he sue for cruel and unusual punishment? Threatening death and then stopping it and then starting it over again and again................. Sounds like brutal mental torture to me.

  • ||

    I have long held that the length of time from conviction to the carrying out of punishment is the cruel and unusual part of the punishment. The convicted deserves the right to appeal, but that process should be standardized and streamlined.
    The attorneys and organizations that inject themselves into these matters truly need to be collared and leashed.
    When it comes to the actual act of execution. Lethal injection is used, because it is the least violent for the witnesses to see. If it were truly about lessening the suffering of the condemned, a single bullet to the back of the skull, a properly set up hanging, or even the electric chair are terribly swift...but not pleasant to see.

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