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Nevada plans to use new lethal injection protocol in next month's execution

Zane Michael Floyd was sentenced to death for the 1999 murders of four workers at a Nevada supermarket. File Photo courtesy of the Nevada Department of Corrections
Zane Michael Floyd was sentenced to death for the 1999 murders of four workers at a Nevada supermarket. File Photo courtesy of the Nevada Department of Corrections

June 11 (UPI) -- Nevada plans to execute a death row inmate with a never-before-used combination of lethal injection drugs, according to a partially redacted court filing.

The Department of Corrections offered up four- and three-drug cocktail options to be used in future lethal injections in its new execution manual. It submitted a copy of the manual to U.S. District Judge Richard Boulware II in a case involving Zane Michael Floyd.

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Floyd, 45, is set to be executed the week of July 26 for the murders of four people at a Las Vegas supermarket in 1999. He was convicted of killing Lucy Tarantino, Thomas Darnell, Chuck Leos and Dennis "Troy" Sargent, and injuring Zachar Emenegger, all store employees. He was also found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman at his home before the shootings.

If given the lethal injection next month, Floyd would be the first person put to death in Nevada since 2006, when the state executed Daryl Mack.

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Under the new lethal injection protocol, Nevada plans to use fentanyl or alfentanil, painkillers; ketamine, an anesthetic; cisatracurium, a paralytic; and potassium chloride or potassium acetate, which cause cardiac arrest. Under an alternative three-drug cocktail, the state would drop the use of cisatracurium.

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The execution manual says the director of the prison "will provide the condemned inmate with written notice of the drug or combination of drugs that will be used for the execution after a final decision has been made and no less than seven calendar days prior to the first day of the week, as designated by the district court, that the judgment of death is to be executed."

Boulware said Thursday he's "inclined" to stay Floyd's execution to settle legal issues regarding the state's execution protocol, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Prison Director Charles Daniels told the judge he'd like to have four months to prepare for the lethal injection.

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There have been four executions carried out in the United States in 2021 -- three at the federal level and one in Texas.

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