ACLU says corrections’ response on execution incomplete

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed an emergency petition demanding access to details of the plan to execute Scott Dozier.

Prison officials responded by releasing 16 documents but ACLU spokesman Wesley Juhl said those documents aren’t complete.

The execution is scheduled for July 11, less than a week away and ACLU officials charge prison officials, including Director of Corrections James Dzurenda, are denying them access to information that will enable the public “to assess whether the execution will take place in a constitutional manner and then take appropriate steps if it determines the execution will not.”

“The 8th Amendment not only protects the right of individuals not to be victims of cruel and unusual punishment, but that it also expresses a fundamental interest of society in ensuring that state authority is not used to administer barbaric punishments,” the brief filed in Carson District Court says. “The NDOC’s restriction of access to public records is especially egregious as this is the first execution in Nevada in over a decade and it will take place in a newly built and untested execution chamber.”

The petition asks a court order directing corrections officials to immediately produce details of the drug cocktail being used and the procedures that will be followed in executing Dozier. It says the combination of three drugs has never been used to execute someone in the United States.

The department responded by releasing 16 documents detailing everything from press and witness attendance to the list of drugs that will be used, and security measures.

The documents also include the lethal injection protocol to be used including the equipment needed, preparation of the drugs Midazolam (a sedative), Fentanyl, (pain killer) and Cis-atracurium, (a paralytic). The dosages that will be prepared for each drug are listed, as are the post execution procedures.

The documents spell out security measures, although that document is heavily redacted to restrict access to details that could compromise security and the handling of possible protests outside the prison property.

“There’s still a lot of information new requested in our records request that they haven’t given us,” said Juhl.

He said that includes the chain of custody of the drugs that will be used — specifically where they obtained them — and who recommended the use of the drug Midazolam.

“Midazolam is connected to a lot of botched executions across the country,” he said. Adding that it’s a controversial choice and one state, Arizona, has decided not to use it.

“There’s a lot of stuff now that we need to know to know this going to be lawful and not torturous.”


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