A story in the Canadian press about an Ohio prison inmate states that, "A death row inmate scheduled for execution says he's too fat to be put to death, claiming executioners would have trouble finding his veins and that his weight could diminish the effectiveness of one of the lethal injection drugs." The death penalty is no laughing matter, but if death row inmate, Richard Cooey is able to "escape" execution because of his obesity it opens the possibility that every prisoner sentenced to death by lethal injection will gorge himself or herself to the point that they could make the same plea. Prisoners who are scheduled to be electrocuted would have no such recourse. (This is not a picture of the prisoner).
Richard's weight problem should have never gotten into court in the first place. Wouldn't it make sense for the prison officials to put Richard on a strict diet until his weight was such that he could be "terminated" without any undue problems. The bureaucracy as usual gets caught up in itself and can find a simple solution. Maybe Richard would be a good candidate for the "Biggest Loser" next year. He would be in a real Catch-22 because if he lost the most weight he would certainly be executed. The real question is whether America would be rooting for him to lose the weight so he could be executed or because they fell for his sad story. Read on before you start to feel sorry for poor Richard.
No small detail is the fact that Cooey, 41, is sentenced to die for raping and murdering two young women in 1986. It is now 2008, more than 22 years since he was sentenced to die. This is one of the inherent problems with the death penalty. If it must be done, then it should be done quickly. No doubt Richard is a nasty piece of work who deserves dire consequences for what he did. I'm not a big fan of the death penalty, mainly because too many innocent people have found their way to death row. My idea of just retribution would be to take old Richard out into the Mojave Desert and walk him until he fell flat on his face every day. But that's cruel and unusual punishment, which is prohibited by our Constitution. So it's better for him to wait 22 years on death row?