April 16, 2014

Elyria
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Judge rejects obese inmate’s execution claim

Post

A federal judge has thrown out convicted killer Ronald Ray Post’s attempt to halt his scheduled Jan. 16 execution.

Post, who is slated to be executed for the 1983 murder of Elyria motel clerk Helen Vantz, had argued that because of his weight the state’s execution protocols wouldn’t work properly.

Post’s attorneys said their client weighed around 480 pounds, but during an October weigh-in, prison officials said Post weighted 396 pounds.

Post contends that his physical condition would prevent the execution team from finding a vein suitable for injecting the fatal overdose of sedatives now used by Ohio to carry out the executions. He also has argued that the execution table wouldn’t hold his bulk.

Lawyers for the state have argued that Post could be executed in a humane manner.

U.S. District Judge Lesley Wells wrote in her decision, released today, that Post has already raised concerns about the constitutionality of the death penalty and those issues were rejected.

“He has not demonstrated in his new petition that his medical condition has changed so significantly, or that Ohio’s new lethal-injection procedures have changed so radically, since his first petition in 1997 that his original core complaints are transformed into something new,” Wells wrote. “His claims, in their essence, remain the same.”

Post also is part of a federal lawsuit against the state challenging that a large number of death row inmates have joined and he has also challenged the evidence used against him in court filings locally.

Read Tuesday’s Chronicle for more on this story.