Saturday, July 27, 2013

Man too obese for execution dies in prison

A 450-pound former death row inmate who was deemed too obese to be put to death has died of natural causes in prison.

Ronald Post died on the morning of July 25, 2013 at an Ohio prison hospital where he'd been treated on and off since 2011, a state prisons spokeswoman said. He was a week shy of his 54th birthday.

Post argued in federal court that executing him would amount to cruel and unusual punishment because it would take a long time for a prison official to find a muscle for the lethal injection to be administered.
His death comes seven months after he was granted clemency by the governor, when his case drew national attention because of his  weight.

Spokeswoman Ricky Seyfang said the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction classified the death as 'expected.' 

She said privacy laws prevented her from divulging whether Post's weight was a factor in his death.

Post was sentenced to death for killing Elyria motel clerk Helen Vantz on Decemeber 15, 1983.

His attorneys sought mercy for Post ahead of his January 16 execution date on the grounds that he was so obese that he could not be executed humanely.

Republican Governor John Kasich granted Post clemency in December citing poor legal representation, not his weight.

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