Obese Inmate's Appeal Rejected, Executed in Ohio
Richard Cooey appealed to the US Supreme Court for a stay of execution, reasoning that he was too obese to be executed by lethal injection, and his request was rejected on Monday. Cooey was 5'7" and 267 pounds, and his appeal cited that a death by lethal injection could be unduly painful and inhumane. His lawyers also noted Ohio's history of problematic executions:
The last Ohio inmate to be executed was Christopher Newton — who was similar in size to Cooey — in May 2007. The execution team had trouble putting IVs in his arm, which delayed his execution nearly two hours. There were similar problems in the execution of another inmate in 2006.
State officials said prison staff examined Cooey's veins and found no problems that would interfere with the execution.
Cooey, who was convicted of the 1986 sexual assault and murder of two young University women, had had a previous stay of execution in 2003 when a judge intervened, saying the state needed more time to assess his case and appeals. He died at 10:28am.