Too Big To Die?


Ronald Post is 480 pounds, and he’s arguing that his weight is a legal barrier to his execution. Post, convicted of the 1985 murder of a motel clerk in Elyria, Ohio, has petitioned a federal judge to halt his scheduled Jan. 16th appointment to be put to death by lethal injection. His weight and poor veins “have a substantial liklihood of causing severe complications with attempts at an intravenous execution,” his attorneys told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The lawyers, Joseph Wilhelm and Rachel Troutman, say an attempt to execute Post would amount to cruel and unusual punishment, a violation of the Eighth Amendment.

“Given his unique physical and medical condition there is 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,” the attorneys said. There is a local precedent for their argument: another Ohio inmate, Romell Broom, survived a 2009 execution attempt after technicians failed in 18 attempts over a two=hour period to find a suitable vein for the fatal chemicals. Broom’s lawyers have so far been able to fend off attempts to schedule another execution.

The son of Post’s victim, Helen Vantz, has no sympathy for the condemned man. “I don’t care if they have to wheel him in on a tractor-trailer,” William Vantz told the Plain Dealer. “This is just an excuse to get out of the execution,” he said.

More at the Plain Dealer site:

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