Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Too Fat to Execute?

From James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal's "Opinion Journal" . . .

Richard Cooley raped and murdered two women in 1986, landing him on Ohio's death row. Now he is so fat, his lawyers argue he shouldn't be executed. As the Associated Press reports:

Lawyers for Richard Cooey argue in a federal lawsuit that Cooey had poor veins when he faced execution five years ago and that the problem has been worsened by weight gain. . . .
The lawsuit, filed Friday in federal court in Columbus, also says prison officials have had difficulty drawing blood from Cooey for medical procedures. Cooey is 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs 267 pounds, according to the lawsuit. . . .
Cooey's use of the drug Topamax, a type of seizure medication, may have created a resistance to thiopental, the drug used to put inmates to sleep before two other lethal drugs are administered, Dr. Mark Heath, a physician hired by the Ohio Public Defender's Office, said in documents filed with the court.
Heath also says Cooey's weight, combined with the potential drug resistance, increases the risk he would not be properly anesthetized.
That's a real concern for Cooey, his public defender, Kelly Culshaw Schneider, said Monday.
"All of the experts agree if the first drug doesn't work, the execution is going to be excruciating," she said.
Ironically, the ACLU has called for a capital-punishment moratorium on the ground that a disproportionate number of death-row inmates are "skinny."


This is yet another example of how ridiculous our legal system has gotten. The inmates run the prisons, and the courts get clogged with silly appeals like this. Guilt isn't the issue, and after all, today guilt is academic, isn't it?

Hmm. This convicted rapist and killer of two women says he's too fat to use the gurney? I have a suggestion, but it means Ohio will have to modify it's capital punishment law a bit . . .

4 comments:

lee n. field said...

Gallows? Obesity shouldn't be a problem.

Solameanie said...

Well, the gallows can end up decapitating grossly obese prisoners. I think that's happened in Washington state and perhaps Delaware. Either way, the execution is carried out.

I am not in favor of torturing people to death, obviously. However, when you look at the way executions were carried out under the Law of Moses i.e. stoning, the electric chair and lethal injection seem fairly tame. I think there's way too much handwringing on the issue.

dark_one said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Solameanie said...

Dark One,

Read the rules. No posting of ads here. I'll delete them every time, and ban repeat offenders.