Nevada to use fentanyl as execution drug in death penalty cases

Nevada will begin using fentanyl as a means to execute criminals who have been sentenced the death penalty. 

In a story reported by CNN, fentanyl will be part of a drug cocktail that includes sedative diazepam, commonly sold as valium, and the muscle relaxer cisatrcurium.

Fentanyl has been the drug central in the rise of deaths in the opioid crisis that’s hit the U.S. and the Dayton area, which has been affected more than any region in the country.

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Josh Bloom, a senior director at the American Council on Science and Health, who has no position on the death penalty, said the cocktail was humane, but ironic. 

“You got something that’s killing hundreds of people a day across the United States,” Bloom said. “And you got prisons who can’t get death penalty drugs, so they’re turning to the drug that’s killing hundreds of people across the United States.”

The Marshall Project, a nonprofit news organization covering the social justice system, said medical professionals have stated the new injection cocktail doesn’t make sense.

“You don’t need valium if you have fentanyl,” Susi Vassallo of New York University said to TMP writer Maurice Chammah. She was one of several medical professionals quoted by The Marshall Project, questioning the drug selection.

States have struggled to find execution drugs after pharmaceutical companies stopped manufacturing them. 

This year 464 people in Montgomery County died over accidental opioid overdoses. 

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