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Death Penalty

Courts Reject Inmate’s Petition Claiming He is too Fat for Execution

Posted Oct 10, 2008 8:18 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Two appellate courts have rejected a convicted murderer’s request for a stay of execution that contends his obesity makes him a poor candidate for lethal injection.

Lawyers for inmate Richard Cooey claimed it would be difficult to find a vein for lethal injection because of their client’s weight, the Associated Press reports. Cooey is 5-feet, 7-inches tall and weighs 267 pounds. The lawyers say Cooey packed on the pounds because of fattening prison food and limited opportunities for exercise.

Both the Ohio Supreme Court and the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused yesterday to delay the execution.

Cooey has been on death row for nearly 22 years, the Beacon Journal reports. As part of a last-minute flurry of appeals yesterday, he filed a motion with an Ohio appeals court seeking a stay based on an Ohio judge’s lethal injection ruling in another case. The judge ruled the state’s three drug execution cocktail does not allow death to occur “quickly and painlessly” as required by state law.

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