Nevada prison officials on Thursday revealed what drugs would be used in the lethal injection planned for death row inmate Zane Floyd.
In a 65-page, partially redacted execution manual made public at the start of a federal court hearing, the Department of Corrections listed a possible four-drug cocktail or a three-drug cocktail, but officials have not said whether any of the drugs had been obtained.
The four-drug protocol consists of painkillers fentanyl or alfentanil, “depending on availability;” ketamine, an anesthetic; cisatracurium, a paralytic; and potassium chloride or potassium acetate, “depending on availability.”
Cisatracurium would be excluded from the three-drug protocol.
“The (prison) Director 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,” the manual reads.
Prosecutors want Floyd’s lethal injection to take place the week of July 26 inside the execution chamber at Ely State Prison. He would be the first person executed in Nevada since 2006. The chamber was built in 2016 at a cost of roughly $860,000 but has not been used for capital punishment.
Floyd, now 45, was sentenced to die after killing four and seriously wounding another in a 1999 shooting at an Albertsons on West Sahara Avenue.
A jury convicted him about a year after he used a 12-gauge shotgun to fatally shoot the four store employees — Lucy Tarantino, 60, Thomas Darnell, 40, Chuck Leos, 40, and Dennis “Troy” Sargent, 31. Zachar Emenegger, 21, was shot twice but survived after playing dead inside the store.
Floyd also was found guilty of repeatedly raping a woman in a guesthouse at his parents’ home before the shooting.
But U.S. District Judge Richard Boulware said Thursday that he was “inclined” to issue a stay after weeks of unanswered questions about the prison system’s lethal injection protocol, including the names of the drug manufacturing companies.
About a month ago, prison director Charles Daniels testified before Boulware that he would prefer to have up to four months to prepare for an execution.
Floyd’s federal public defenders had asked for a stay of execution and objected to prison officials waiting until after an execution warrant is signed to release the state’s lethal injection protocol. The lawyers also said they would ask the Nevada Board of Pardons Commissioners to commute his death sentence later this year.
The execution manual lays out who may witness the execution, including prison officials, “a competent physician,” the coroner, a psychiatrist, “not less than six reputable citizens over the age of 21,” the White Pine County sheriff, the Clark County district attorney, Floyd’s immediate family, one of his attorneys and news media.
Chief Deputy Attorney General Randall Gilmer, who represents the prison, said redactions were made out of “safety and security concerns.”
The document also lists 54 items identified as “needed medical equipment and materials” and 21 items identified as “needed non-medical equipment and materials.” They include a gel pillow, suction tubing, a stopwatch, a portable stretcher equipped with securing straps, one blanket and one pillow, a resuscitator with bag and mask, a tripod and camera, and bullhorns.