Ohio inmate's execution appeal denied

Nov. 27, 2012 at 8:31 AM
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CLEVELAND, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- A federal judge rejected an inmate's argument to stay his execution because his obesity made his veins unsuitable for Ohio's lethal injection procedure.

In her opinion filed Monday, U.S. District Judge Lesley Wells in Cleveland said inmate Ronald Ray Post's "core complaint" that the lethal injection method is cruel and unusual punishment had been raised and rejected previously, The (Lorain) Morning Journal reported Tuesday.

"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 he filed his first new petition in 1997 that his original core complaints are transformed into something new," Wells wrote.

Post was sentenced to death for his conviction in the 1983 murder and robbery of 53-year-old Helen Vantz at the Slumber Inn in Elyria.

In his petition filed in September, Post and his attorneys argued that Post's obesity rendered his veins unsuitable for Ohio's lethal injection procedure and that the execution table would not support Post.

Post's attorneys said he weighed 480 pounds. During a weigh-in in October, Post weighed 396 pounds, the Journal said.

Post's attorneys also argued their client would undergo a "torturous and lingering death."

Post is involved in another federal lawsuit challenging Ohio's method of lethal injection.

On the state level, Post is arguing against evidence used against him at trial and has filed a second post-conviction petition with the Lorain County Common Pleas Court, the Journal said. Among other things, the motion said police reports indicated polygraph examiner Robert Holmok, a detective for the Lakewood, Ohio, police department, worked for the state when he administered polygraphs to two of the state's witnesses, raising questions about how the test was administered and the interpretation of the data.

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