Inmate Whose Execution Was Called Off Found Dead In Cell
A man who was convicted of murder twice–who declared he wanted to die and who Nevada officials said tried several times to kill himself–has been found dead from an apparent hanging after two scheduled lethal injections were postponed, officials said on Saturday.
48-year-old Scott Raymond Dozier was found unresponsive in his solo death-row cell at the state’s maximum-security prison, Department of Corrections spokeswoman Brooke Santina told The Associated Press.
Dozier had said repeatedly that he wanted to die instead of spending the rest of his life in prison.
“I’ve been very clear about my desire to be executed … even if suffering is inevitable,” Dozier explained in a handwritten note to a state court judge, who postponed his execution in November 2017 over concerns the untried drug regimen could leave him suffocating, conscious, and unable to move.
“Just get it done, just do it effectively and stop fighting about it,” the frustrated inmate told The Associated Press in a telephone interview last August. But his bid to become the first Nevada inmate put to death since 2006 was called off twice amid court fights over a three-drug combination that had never been used in the U.S.
The starts-and-stops in Dozier’s case propelled Nevada to the top of a national debate about the death penalty and shed light on extraordinary efforts some states take to try to obtain drugs from pharmaceutical companies that insist they don’t want their products used for executions.
Dozier gave up appeals for the death sentence he received in 2007 for separate killings of methamphetamine drug trade associates in 2002 in both Phoenix and Las Vegas.
Last month, state lawyers revealed in a separate federal lawsuit over Dozier’s treatment behind bars that that he had tried several methods to kill himself in recent months, including attempting to obtain drops of a deadly drug on a piece of paper sent through prison mail. Dozier’s lawyers also revealed that he apparently cut his neck and wrist with a razor in October.
Dozier was not on suicide watch Saturday, according to authorities, but was found dead at 4:35 p.m. at the prison in Ely, about 250 miles north of Las Vegas.
The prisons spokeswoman said she didn’t immediately know when Dozier had last been seen by guards. Santina said that would be part of investigations by the department’s inspector general and White Pine County sheriff’s office.