A Nevada man who pleaded for his execution killed himself when his wish was denied.
Scott Raymond Dozier, 48, was found hanged in his cell on Jan. 5 at Nevada’s maximum security prison in Ely, prison officials told the New York Times.
“I’ve been very clear about my desire to be executed… even if suffering is inevitable,” Dozier said in a handwritten note to a state court judge. The judge postponed Dozier’s execution in 2017 over concerns that the “untried” combination of drugs could “leave him suffocating, conscious and able to move,” according to The Associated Press.
Dozier was convicted in 2002 for killing a man in Las Vegas. At first, he appealed his death sentence. But after two years, he changed his approach and instead pushed for his execution date.
Dozier had insisted the state set a date, even if it meant a painful death from a cocktail of lethal-injection drugs. The cocktail contained a mix of drugs including fentanyl, which led manufactures to intervene, saying that they would suffer “grave reputational harm if its products were used in the execution against its wishes,” according to the Times.
The complexity of Dozier’s case has placed Nevada at the top of the national death penalty debate, shedding light on the practices of some states attempting to use drugs that pharmaceutical companies do not want used for executions, the AP reported.
Dozier had abandoned his appeals for the death sentence he received in 2007 for the separate murders of two drug associates in 2002 in Phoenix and Las Vegas, the AP reported.
“Just get it done, just do it effectively and stop fighting about it,” Dozier told the AP in a telephone interview last August.
Filmmaker Edgar Barens, who was working on producing a documentary on families affected by the death penalty, told the Times that “the prospect of eking out his existence on Death Row for the rest of his life was unfathomable to him.”
Dozier’s mental health had deteriorated after several delays and after being frequently kept in isolation or on suicide watch, attorney Tom Ericsson told the Times. “He was just so beat down by the prison system and ready to call it a day,” Ericsson said.
Attorneys argued that Dozier’s deterioration was attributed to unconstitutional treatment of their client, the AP reported.