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Published: Tuesday, 11/27/2012

Inmate’s request to delay death rejected

Ohio man cited obesity as reason

ASSOCIATED PRESS

COLUMBUS — A condemned killer trying to delay his execution because of his extreme weight hasn’t raised enough new issues to warrant the legal challenge, a federal judge ruled on Monday.

Death row inmate Ronald Post, who weighs more than 400 pounds, is asking the courts to stop his January execution on the grounds that his weight could cause him to suffer severe pain during the procedure.

Post is prohibited from challenging his execution by injection because he raised similar claims in his first set of federal appeals in 1997, Judge Lesley Wells said Monday in Cleveland.

In general, death row inmates are only allowed one federal appeal when alleging the same set of facts.

Post “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 petition in 1997 that his original core complaints are transformed into something new,” Judge Wells wrote.

However, he sent the question to a federal appeals court in Cincinnati for a final determination according to federal law governing this type of appeal. The state is opposing Post’s requests to delay his execution.

Post, 53, was sentenced to die for the 1983 shooting death of hotel desk clerk Helen Vantz in Elyria. His execution is set for Jan. 16.

Post also wants his execution delayed to try to prove that claims he made a full confession to several people are falsely exaggerated.

Post’s attorneys declined to comment Monday. They have previously argued that Post’s medical condition hasn’t been stable. At issue, they say, is his condition around the time of his execution, not during original court challenge. Post has sued to stop his execution as part of a long-running challenge to Ohio's execution procedures in federal court in Columbus. Judge Gregory Frost has scheduled a Dec. 17 hearing. Post has tried losing weight, but knee and back problems have made it difficult to exercise, his lawyers say.

This undated photo provided by the Ohio Dept. of Rehabilitation and Corrections shows  death row inmate Ronald Post. Post, 53,  scheduled to executed Jan. 16, 2013, for the 1983 shooting death of a hotel desk clerk. A federal judge has rejected his request that his upcoming execution be delayed. At 480 pounds, Post said he is too heavy for the state's lethal injection process. (AP Photo/Ohio Dept. of Rehabilitation and Corrections) This undated photo provided by the Ohio Dept. of Rehabilitation and Corrections shows death row inmate Ronald Post. Post, 53, scheduled to executed Jan. 16, 2013, for the 1983 shooting death of a hotel desk clerk. A federal judge has rejected his request that his upcoming execution be delayed. At 480 pounds, Post said he is too heavy for the state's lethal injection process. (AP Photo/Ohio Dept. of Rehabilitation and Corrections)
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