LAS VEGAS — Nevada prison officials on Thursday disclosed that they want to use a never-before-tried combination of drugs for the state’s first lethal injection in 15 years, including the powerful opioid fentanyl, the sedative ketamine and a heart-stopping salt, potassium chloride.
An execution manual provided to a federal judge ahead of a possible late-July death date for convicted mass killer Zane Michael Floyd said a similar-acting drug, alfentanil, might substitute for fentanyl and potassium acetate might substitute for potassium chloride.
In a four-drug procedure, the muscle paralytic cisatracurium would also be used to stop the condemned man’s ability to breathe before he receives the heart-stopping agent.
U.S. District Judge Richard Boulware II said he may issue a stay of execution by the end of the month to allow time to review the choice of drugs and the 65-page Execution Manual.
Floyd, 45, does not want to die. He was sentenced in 2000 for killing four people and wounding a fifth in a shotgun attack at a Las Vegas grocery store in 1999.
He lost state and federal appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear his case.
A state judge in Las Vegas said this week that prosecutors and prison officials can begin planning his execution for the week of July 26.
Floyd’s federal public defenders said they’ll appeal.