herald

Monday 22 September 2014

Death row killer is 'too fat for lethal jab'

A CONDEMNED killer fighting his execution because of his extreme weight does not have accessible veins in his arms or hands and cannot not receive a lethal injection in his legs because he is so obese, a doctor told a US court.

Death row inmate Ronald Post (53), who weighs more than 28 stones, wants a judge to stop his January execution on the grounds that his weight could cause him to suffer severe pain during the procedure. The state opposes the request.

A court filing in Columbus, Ohio, sought to counter that opposition by presenting the affidavit of a doctor who examined Post extensively and interviewed him about his medical history.



Scars

It was "highly unlikely" that an IV could be placed in Post's legs and "extremely unlikely" that veins could be found in his hands, said Ohio State medical centre anaesthesiologist Sergio Bergese. Post also had scars on his left and right forearms from a suicide attempt that made his veins inaccessible for an IV.

He said Post reported he had provided some blood samples in the past only after great difficulty. Dr Bergese said providing blood samples was no guarantee that an IV could be inserted.

Post is due to die on January 16 for the 1983 shooting death of Helen Vantz. Her son Bill has called Post's arguments "laughable".

hnews@herald.ie

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