UK & World News
Obese Ohio Inmate Given Death Row Reprieve
An Ohio death row inmate who has said he is too fat to be humanely executed has had his sentence reduced to life in prision.
Governor John Kasich has spared Ronald Post following a recommendation by the state parole board, whose members said they believed he was guilty but that there were problems with his legal representation 30 years ago.
Lawyers for the condemned killer told the board earlier this month that Post should not be executed in part because of questionable advice from his trial attorney.
Post pleaded no contest to the 1983 shooting death of motel clerk Helen Vantz on the advice of his trial attorney, with the expectation he would receive a life sentence, his current lawyers say.
Post had been scheduled to die on January 16.
The parole board rejected the attorneys' arguments that Post deserves mercy because of doubts about his "legal and moral guilt", but it said it could not ignore perceived mistakes by his original lawyers.
Post, who weighs 450lb (204kg), never raised the issue of his size with the parole board.
Separately he had argued in federal court that he would be subjected to "cruel and unusual punishment" as the state struggled to find a vein or to give him enough drugs to put someone his size to death.
He reportedly gained 200lb (91kg) while on death row.