Ohio Convicted Killer: Execution to result in a lingering death due to obesity problem?

Written By: Kristina Banks

Ronald Post, 53 who was convicted of the 1983 murder of Helen Vantz a woman who was brutally shot twice while Post was robbing the motel where she worked. He is now set to be executed by lethal injection on Jan 16. Post believes his weight which stands at 480 pounds would encounter a “torturous and lingering death.” According to the Associated Press his lawyers claim that the execution gurney might not hold him.

Vantz’s son made a statement according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer that “I don’t care if they have to wheel him in on a tractor-trailer; 30years is too long.”

Post’s attorneys want more time to pursue arguments that claims of a full confession made by the inmate to several people have been falsely exaggerated.

“Post’s case is about more than his weight, and his life should be spared for reasons wholly unrelated to his obesity,” his federal defender, Joseph Wilhelm, stated.

Which is sort of unusual as he pleaded no contest to the murder charges, The Plain Dealer reported. Meaning he did not admit to committing the crime but choose not to challenge the facts presented by the prosecution.

While Post’s claims might seem a little absurd, he isn’t the only inmate ever to bring up weight in a death penalty case.

In 2008, double killer Richard Cooney’s arguments where denied that he was too obese to die by injection. His attorneys tried arguing limited opportunities to exercise would make it difficult to find a vein for injection. At his execution on Oct. 14, 2008 Cooney weighed 267 pounds.

In 2007, Ohio executioners took 2 hrs. to insert an IV into the veins of inmate Christopher Newton. He weighed in at about 265 pounds.

Post, requests for gastric bypass surgery was denied and at one point in his attempts to lose weight he had lost up to 150 pounds. Reported in court filings while at the Mansfield Correctional Institution he used an exercise bike until it broke under his weight. His difficulties with his weight battle comes from knee and back problems. He now uses a wheelchair.

In a open letter last year, William Vantz said he’s still waiting for justice to be served.

“I am as committed to this as the day he took her life. I will never forgive or forget what he took from us. We all have recourse to the law and its time he paid his debt to society. It’s way overdue!”
Sources / Supporting Links / Works Cited (If none, please type “none”): New York Daily news/NBC News/newsnet5.com

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