A condemned Ohio inmate who weighs 480 pounds and has a history of difficulty losing weight argues he would face a "torturous and lingering death" if executed in January.
Ronald Post, who shot and killed a hotel clerk in northern Ohio almost 30 years ago, said his weight, vein access, scar tissue, depression and other medical problems raise the likelihood his executioners would encounter severe problems.
He's also so big that the execution gurney might not hold him, lawyers for Post said in federal court papers filed Friday.
"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," the filing said.
Post, 53, is scheduled to die Jan. 16 for the 1983 shooting death of Helen Vantz in Elyria. The woman worked in a motel Post was robbing, and died after the man shot her twice in the back of the head.
According to The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Vantz's son, William, laughed when he first heard about the request, but immediately turned serious.
"I don't care if they have to wheel him in on a tractor-trailer; 30 years is too long," he said, according to The Plain Dealer. "Enough is enough. This is just an excuse to get out of the execution."
A spokeswoman for the prisons department had no comment on the pending litigation.
Post's attorneys also want more time to pursue arguments that claims of a full confession by the inmate to several people have been falsely exaggerated.
Inmates' weight has come up previously in death penalty cases in Ohio and elsewhere.
In 2008, federal courts rejected arguments by condemned double-killer Richard Cooey that he was too obese to die by injection. Cooey's attorneys had argued that prison food and limited opportunities to exercise contributed to a weight problem that would make it difficult for the execution team to find a viable vein for lethal injection.
Cooey, who was 5-foot-7 and weighed 267 pounds, was executed Oct. 14, 2008.
In 2007, it took Ohio executioners about two hours to insert IVs into the veins of condemned inmate Christopher Newton, who weighed about 265 pounds. A prison spokeswoman at the time said his size was an issue.
There's much more to this story from NBC News, to read about it CLICK HERE.