I-Team: Director of NDOC testifies about drugs he signed off on for Dozier execution

Local News

The fight over lethal injection in Nevada continued in a courtroom Tuesday.

Three drug makers, Alvogen, Sandoz, and Hikma are trying to stop the state from using their drugs to execute convicted killer Scott Dozier.

The director of Nevada’s Department of Corrections (NDOC) testified in court Tuesday.

James Dzurenda is in a tight spot because, by law, he is responsible for carrying out a death sentence, signing off on the drugs and more. But drug companies don’t want their medications used for lethal injection, so the companies are suing the state.

The state obtained the drugs through a third party seller.

Todd Bice, Attorney for Alvogen: “Do you recall that in fact the ACLU had to file a lawsuit to force you to reveal whose drugs you had? And that you actually opposed it? And you didn’t want it disclosed?
James Dzurenda, Dept. of Corrections Director: “That is correct.”
Bice: “Right and in fact, the reason you didn’t want it disclosed is that you thought the minute they found out they’d take action against you.”
Dzurenda: “No, that is not the reason.”

The drug companies had a team of attorneys and staff.  The companies also sent letters saying they didn’t want their drugs used in Dozier’s lethal injection.

Dzurenda said he understands the drug companies could face protests and even boycott if their drugs are used for lethal injection. He said he believes the fight is about money.

Jordan Smith, attorney for NDOC: “By law, who are you required to consult with?
Dzurenda: “Just the state medical officer.” 
Smith:  “Are you required to inquire or consult with drug companies?
Dzurenda: “No, I’m not.” 
Smith: “And you mentioned, that if NDOC did something illegal, NDOC would give the drugs back.”
Dzurenda: “Absolutely.”

The court proceedings are expected to last another couple of days.  In the meantime, until everything is sorted out in court, Dozier’s execution will remain on hold.

The question now is should the state have to give back the drugs even though the state purchased them through a third party seller?

The director and the NDOC are tasked with fulfilling the death sentence now that Dozier says he wants to be executed.

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