The State of Nevada is set to carry out its first execution in 12 years. The execution – of a prisoner who has given up his appeals – is scheduled for 8pm on 11 July. Amnesty International is calling on Nevada not to resume executions.
The last execution in Nevada took place on 26 April 2006. The one scheduled for 11 July would take place in the state’s new death chamber at Ely State Prison. It would be the first in the USA using the three-drug combination chosen by the Nevada authorities – midazolam (a sedative), fentanyl (an opioid) and cisatracurium (a paralytic).
Nevada has carried out 12 executions since the US Supreme Court upheld new capital laws in 1976 and Nevada passed its current capital law in 1977. Eleven of these 12 executions were of so-called “volunteers”, prisoners who waived their appeals. The prisoner scheduled to be executed on 11 July has likewise given up his appeals. He has been on death row since 2007 for a murder committed in 2002. He asked to waive his appeals in 2016. The judge found him competent to do so in July 2017 and later that month signed a death warrant for 14 November 2017. The judge subsequently stayed his execution amidst concerns about the lethal injection protocol. The Nevada Supreme Court lifted the stay in May 2018 on grounds that the judge abused her discretion in reviewing the issue, and the execution was reset for 11 July. Serious concerns remain about the never-before used drug combination.