Obese Death Row Inmate: Is Ronald Post Too Fat To Die?

By Staff Reporter on November 30, 2012 2:43 PM EST

Ronald Post
Ronald Post, 53, scheduled to executed on January 16, 2013 for the murder of a hotel desk clerk. (Photo: Ohio Dept. of Rehabilitation)

Ronald Post entered a no-contest plea to the murder of hotel desk clerk Helen Vantz in Elria,Ohio, nearly 30 years ago, in 1983. He was not tried.

Today, Post, 53, is condemned as a killer and the day of his execution nears. However, Ronald Post is now making one last desperate attempt to delay his execution by not only raising a new claim of innocence, but to also plea to the courts to stop his January 16 execution due to his 400 pound weight. Post believes that his abnormal weight will likely cause severe pain during the procedure.

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First, Post revealed new information regarding the 30-year-old incident and claimed it was another man that had shot Ms. Vantz in 1983. The Associated Press had obtained the board filing from Lorain County Prosecutor Dennis Will after successfully registering a records request.

In the filing, Ronald Post also claimed that while he was "complicit  in the robbery," he never actually entered the hotel. What's more, Post also gave the name of a man Ralph Hall, whom Post claims is the real shooter that killed Vantz.

Prosecutor Dennis Will challenges the new claims and advised thee board to  "consider Post's written admission, made in open court almost thirty years ago, that he, and he alone, was responsible for the crimes against Helen Vant."

As for Ronald Post's obesity plea, doctors were brought in to express the concerns regarding Post's physical condition. In fact, due to his immense weight, doctors cannot locate any accessible veins through which the lethal injection could be administered.

However, the federal judge of Cleveland has already rejected the obesity claim. In fact, another judge had ruled that Post has made a similar claim in 1997. What's more, Ronald Post's weight and condition has not changed ever since.

According to Ronald Post's attorney, Post has tried to lose weight in the past but his extreme 400 pound (181.4 kg) weight brought unbearable pain to his back and knees. In addition, Post's attorney also recommended a gastric band but that request was denied by the court as well, severely hindering Ronald Post's ability to lose weight.

Ronald Post will be scheduled for his next parole hearing in December 6. Meanwhile, a federal judge of Columbus, Ohio, is seeking a hearing next month with an unrelated agenda of ending Ohio's lethal injection practices.

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