Nev. plans to use fentanyl for execution

Lacking more traditional drugs for lethal injection, Nevada said it will use a never before tried combination of fentanyl


By Alan Johnson
The Columbus Dispatch

LAS VEGAS — People ask all the time: if fentanyl is so deadly, why not use it for executions?

Nevada plans to do just that Nov. 14 to execute Scott Dozier, sentenced to death for the 2002 murder and dismemberment of Jeremiah Miller, 22.

Lacking more traditional drugs for lethal injection, including midazolam and hydromorphone, Nevada said it will use a never before tried combination of fentanyl, an opioid 50 times stronger than heroin; diazepam, a sedative known by the brand name Valium, and cisatracurium, a muscle paralyzer.

A detailed story about the new protocol was written by the Marshall Project, a non-profit news organization focused on criminal justice issues.

Details about the order and amount of the drugs have not been announced by Nevada, which has not had an execution in a decade.

Dozier wants to be executed by a firing squad.

In the July 26 execution of Ronald Phillips, Ohio used 500 milligrams of midazolam hydrochloride, a strong sedative; 1,000 milligrams of rocuronium bromide, a muscle relaxer, and 240 milligrams of potassium chloride, used to stop the heart.

Fentanyl is increasingly involved in drug overdose deaths in Ohio and other states. The annual OD death report released Thursday by the Ohio Department of Health showed fentanyl and its derivatives were involved in more than half the opioid deaths last year.

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©2017 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)

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