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Arguments continue over drugs set to be used in execution of Scott Dozier

Scott Dozier appears Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas. (KSNV)

In just eight days, the state of Nevada is set to execute a convicted killer.

Scott Dozier has said repeatedly he is ready to die, but defense attorneys want to make sure he doesn't suffer.

On Monday, both sides were back in court, still arguing over how the execution will happen.

One point of contention for the defense is that the acting Chief Medical Officer for the state is a psychiatrist, not an anesthesiologist.

The doctor who will actually oversee the execution isn't either; he's in family practice.

The issue for the judge is making sure Dozier's death is not cruel and unusual punishment.

RELATED | Attorneys for death row inmate focus on paralytic to be used in execution cocktail

"I think the one thing we can agree on is that no one wants a botched execution," said David Anthony, Assistant Federal Public Defender.

Anthony says there's no shame in hitting the pause button, as he looks out for the interests of Dozier.

The convicted killer has stated in the past that he's ready to die.

The state is ready to move forward Nov. 14, administering a never-before-used three-drug cocktail.

After hearing from an anesthesiologist on Friday, the defense worries that one of those drugs, a paralytic, would amount to suffocating Dozier.

RELATED | Defense wants state to clarify how they plan to execute death row inmate

"There's nothing wrong with the protocol as it stands now if it's done right. If the dosing is done right, if the administration is done right, and if somebody who is experienced in depth of anesthesia, he will not suffer," said Judge Jennifer Togliatti.

Still, Anthony points to another execution from 2014 out of Arizona.

The lethal injection death of Joseph Wood took more than two hours. Some witnesses described Wood as gasping for air -- something Dozier's team is trying to avoid.

"After the botch we're talking about in the Wood case, that brought executions in Arizona to a standstill, they would rather not execute a person than use a paralytic," said Anthony.

But according to the state of Nevada, the decision to stop next week's execution sits with one person, the defendant himself.

"If Mr. Dozier decides he doesn't want to go forward, then Mr. Dozier can say that. If Mr. Dozier wants a stay, Mr. Dozier can say that," said Jordan Smith, Assistant Solicitor General.

On Wednesday, the judge will hear from Dozier one more time, appearing via video conference from prison.

Togliatti wants to make sure he understands exactly what is being discussed when it comes to the drugs and prison protocol for his execution.

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