Murderer donates his brain to medical science9 January 2019
Double murderer Scott Dozier, who was found lifeless in his Death Row cell on the weekend of 6/7 January 2018, has donated his brain to medical science, MediaZones can reveal.
Washington State University, one of the top research universities in the USA, has accepted his offer. But it does not appear keen to confirm the transfer, this being confirmed to MediaZones by a senior official in Nevada.
A professor of pathology at the university told MediaZones that examining dead body parts for medical science was not within his field of interest or expertise.
Dozier asked for the rest of his body to be cremated. In a telephone interview with MediaZones, the coroner in Las Vegas, John Fudenberg, confirmed that the body had been examined and medical procedures carried out, before it was sent to his family.
The brain of Dozier’s second victim and the rest of his head have never been found. According to evidence produced in his murder trial, Dozier had sawn off the head of 22-year-old Jeremiah Miller, after shooting him. Dismembered body parts from Miller’s body were discovered in a suitcase. Trial evidence showed they had been expertly cut up using a saw or sharp instrument.
Dozier maintained silence on the details of what happened, even in the run-up to his scheduled execution – which was stopped at the last moment in July 2018 because the three drugs to be used might have produced illegal pain and suffering.
In a series of interviews last year he told MediaZones that he felt the victim’s parents, assuming they believed he had done it, had the right to take revenge. “I believe in an eye for an eye,” he said. He wanted them to have the right to shoot him dead in an execution, and he said he would have looked the shooter straight in the eye as he fired the fatal bullet.
“We had found him – thrown out like garbage,” his mother Kimarie Miller said during the murder trial in 2007. “We didn’t even have all of him anymore, and that’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever faced in my life.”
She said her son was fluent in Spanish, had helped build homes for Habitat for Humanity and had hoped to help underprivileged kids. She had no idea he had been involved with the drugs trade.
“My son is not alive and not able to hug, to laugh, to get patted on the back, to drink water, to eat mints, to see his family, to make decisions for himself, to change his life course, to do anything,” Kimarie Miller testified. “I miss him. He was a part of our lives.”
Miller’s parents attended every day of Dozier’s first murder trial in Arizona before he was tried for their son’s killing in Las Vegas. They later declined invitations to be present at the two planned executions that were aborted.
“If I’d been in Jeremiah Miller’s position, I would have wanted to see me being killed,” Dozier said.
He wanted the State, or the victim’s relatives, to have the right to shoot him dead in an execution. And he said that, waiving his right to a blindfold, he would have looked the shooter straight in the eye as he or she fired the fatal bullet.
“It is up to the family, and the prisoner’s expressed wishes, whether his brain is used for medical science or indeed if he wishes to donate his organs,” said Brook Keast, a former deputy sheriff in Nevada and now official spokesperson for the State’s Department of Corrections.
An official confirmed that Dozier had used a bedsheet to tie himself by his neck to an air vent, apparently having worked out how long his body would hang there before the next inspection. Warders peer through a window in the cell door every 15 to 30 minutes. “Prisoners know how to kill themselves, and we average around 2 suicides a year,” the official said.
There are 14,000 inmates in Nevada prisons, and 79 of them remain on Death Row (officially called the Condemned Men’s Unit) in the only prison that is equipped for executions, Ely. If Dozier had been put to death by lethal injection he would have been the first Death Row Prisoner to be executed in the State of Nevada for well over a decade. Dozier was convicted of murder in 2006.
“I think his desire to die went on and off,” a prison official said asking for anonymity. “One day I would meet him and think: no he’s not going to do it. Next time I would think: maybe he will.”
Another prison official said: “He had such a narcissistic personality that it was hard to believe he would actually kill himself. We had even wondered if, at the last minute, as he was about to be executed, he would simply say he had changed his mind and did wish to appeal his death sentence. But of course now, with his self-inflicted death, we will never know.”
The official pointed out it was the family of Dozier who had protested at him being placed on suicide watch. “They called it undue punishment,” the official said, “but what has happened shows we were right to be concerned and it was for his own protection.”
Dozier had been placed under observation instead – allowing him to keep his art materials. He was known to have recently bought materials for his art
To prevent attempts at hanging themselves, inmates on suicide watch are not given normal sheets and blankets. The ‘anti-suicide’ blanket cannot be torn.
Dozier had previously made at least one attempt to kill himself. In 2006, while facing a murder charge in another State, Arizona, he took a massive dose of an antidepressant and spent two weeks in a coma. According to an account by the Marshall Project, an anti-death penalty group, Dozier, who lost more than 70 pounds in weight, then tried to pull out his intubation tube.
“I couldn’t even wheel my own fuckin’ wheelchair,” he told the Project. It wrote that this event led Dozier to resolve never again to attempt suicide.
Obviously, things changed. Dozier did not leave any suicide note, perhaps believing that what he had already said, including the wording he agreed with MediaZones, was testimony enough to his thinking and his state of mind.