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Trump's last days in office marred by disregard for human life. Death penalty just another example.

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Trump reinstated federal executions after nearly 20 years, with two slated for this week. When will the U.S. drop the practice and join other Western nations? If there's one thing that has defined the final days of the Trump administration, it's the lack of regard for human life. We saw that play out Wednesday after President Donald Trump incited rioters to bust through the U.S. Capitol and hunt down members of Congress.  Inciting a violent assault on the Capitol also displayed a disregard for democracy and the rule of law. This was the tragic finale of four years of failed federal leadership, and far from the only instance where the president’s disdain for human life has been demonstrated. His abject failure to provide the leadership necessary to deal effectively with the COVID-19 pandemic is beyond dispute, with the consequence being that the daily death count from COVID-19 has now surpassed that of 9/11. In the face of these unfolding tragedies, and at a time when the Trump

Nevada Gov. Sandoval, stop Dozier's execution: Viloria

Ely state prison, Nevada
As a prosecutor with the original Major Violators Unit of the Washoe County District Attorney's office, I sought the death penalty in 5 1st-degree murder cases. I have great respect for the rule of law.

I am disturbed that the State of Nevada is about to resume executions after an 11-year hiatus.

Much has changed since the last execution was conducted in April 2006. The drugs historically used in lethal injection are no longer available due to manufacturers' unwillingness to have their products used in executions. A dozen states have repealed their death penalty laws or imposed moratoria on pursuing new death sentences. Most states are not using the death penalty even if it is still in their laws.

Yet on Nov. 14, the State of Nevada is planning to put Scott Dozier to death, based on his wish to die.

I am especially appalled to read the state intends to use a combination of drugs on Mr. Dozier that has never before been used in an execution. Under these experimental circumstances, the risk of a botched execution is real (one in which the inmate dies, but the process is seriously mishandled). Prison staff has not conducted any execution in over a decade, let alone with this unusual combination of drugs. The untested drug combination, which involves a paralytic, an opioid and an anti-anxiety drug, also creates the likelihood that the execution will cause unnecessary and cruel suffering.

It should be remembered Mr. Dozier is a "volunteer" - he has asked the state to assist in his suicide. If the state cannot currently find suitable (not experimental) drugs for an execution, Mr. Dozier will remain in prison where he should be.

As a former prosecutor, I hope that the governor understands what an enormous risk it is to allow the Department of Corrections to proceed with the execution of Scott Dozier using an experimental combination of drugs.

I would urge Governor Sandoval to stop this execution from going forward based on grave concerns about the possibility of an unconstitutional or bungled execution.

Source: Reno Gazette Journal, October 31, 2017. Mr. Viloria prosecuted death penalty cases in the Major Violators unit of the Washoe County District Attorney's office. He is now in private practice in Reno.


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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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