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Man 'too fat' to be executed

17:30 Tue Sep 18 2012
Dave Meddows, MSN NZ
Ronald Post
Ronald Post

A US man on death row has called for his impending execution to be delayed on the grounds his extreme obesity would cause the death to be "torturous and lingering".

Ronald Post, who was sentenced to die in 1983 for the shooting death of a hotel clerk in Ohio, has filed federal court papers requesting the delay to his January execution.

Weighing 218kg, Post, 53, has attempted losing weight in the past and has previously requested a gastric bypass in an effort to trim down, AP reports.

Post's laywers believe his weight and existing scar tissue will restrict access to his veins and increase the chance of complications during the lethal injection.

“Given his unique physical and medical condition there is a substantial risk that any attempt to execute him will result in serious physical and psychological pain to him, as well as an execution involving a torturous and lingering death,” they wrote in their court filing.

Complications during lethal injection have surfaced before in overweight prisoners, with executioners taking two hours to find a vein to inject convicted killer Christopher Newton, who weighed 120kg.

Prison officials at the time blamed Newton's weight on the delay.