For Years, This Nevada Death Row Inmate Asked to Be Executed. He Finally Just Took His Own Life.

“I don’t want to die,” Scott Dozier said. “I just would rather be dead than do this.”

AP file photoKen Ritter/AP

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Death row inmate Scott Dozier took his own life in his cell at Nevada’s Ely State Prison, the Associated Press reported Saturday.

Dozier, 48, had been on death row for more than a decade for murdering Jeremiah Miller, whose dismembered body was found in a dumpster in Las Vegas in 2002. Dozier, who was sentenced to die but whose execution by lethal injection was postponed in November 2017 and then again in July, had tried to kill himself several times. ”I don’t want to die,” he told the Marshall Project‘s Maurice Chammah, in a January 2018 article published in partnership with Mother Jones. “I just would rather be dead than do this.”

As Chammah wrote in October, Dozier’s years-long battle to be executed illuminates “the ambivalence and political turmoil surrounding the death penalty in the United States:”

Death row prisoners usually appeal their sentences, and many manage to hold off execution for decades. Many live in solitary confinement with few amenities, but Dozier was given access to an exercise yard, as well as a television, MP3 player and art supplies. Still, he did not feel that life in prison was a life worth living. Two years ago, he announced that he would give up his appeals and agree to be killed. His request forced Nevada, which had not executed anyone in a decade, to come up with a new lethal injection cocktail and defend it in a number of court battles.

Dozier would have been the first death row inmate executed in Nevada since 2006, but courts stopped the lethal injection due to concerns about the drug, a combination of agents including fentanyl, a powerful opioid.

In October, Dozier was put in solitary confinement “so his mental health could be assessed,” the Marshall Project reported. “I can’t fucking believe they can treat people like this,” he told Chammah about being placed on suicide watch. “It feels like they’re fucking with me to get me to stop” pushing to be executed.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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