A convicted killer on death row in Ohio might be too fat to die. Or at least that is what he’s professing to his impending executioners. Ronald Post, who tips the scales at 480 pounds, hopes to buy additional time, or even have his death sentence overturned, because of severe swelling in his arteries, poor vein access, additional scar tissue, and his hefty frame — all of which he claims would make it inhumane to strap him onto gurney and inject him with poison.
In 1983, Post robbed and murdered a hotel clerk, Helen Vantz, with two shots to the back of her head. He is concerned that the gravity of his situation could create a painful and prolonged transition to hell.
In the released document, Ohio prison officials acknowledged that Post’s fatness is a factor: “Indeed, given his unique physical and medical condition there is a substantial risk that any attempt to execute him will result in serious physical and psychological pain to him, as well as an execution involving a torturous and lingering death.” Um, and what about Helen Vantz? What about the pain she suffered?
Post continues a tradition of obese Ohio murderers playing the fat card. In 2008, Richard Wade Cooey formed the same argument, claiming his 5-foot-7, 275-pound frame couldn’t handle execution. Cooey’s attorneys stipulated that fatty prison food and limited access to gym usage caused his significant weight gain. After Cooey’s plea was denied, it took a few men and several hours to complete administer death by lethal injection.
If Post’s lawyers can’t negotiate new terms of his conviction, Post will be executed on January 16, 2013.