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National Briefing / OHIO

Obese inmate appeals to justices

October 11, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

Lawyers for an Ohio death row inmate who unsuccessfully argued that his obesity prevents humane lethal injection filed an appeal Friday with the U.S. Supreme Court to halt his execution, planned for next week.

The Ohio public defender's office filed the application on behalf of Richard Cooey a few hours after Gov. Ted Strickland declined clemency. Cooey, 41, is scheduled to be executed Tuesday for killing two University of Akron students in 1986.

The Ohio Supreme Court and the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday denied Cooey's requests for a stay of execution. The Ohio Parole Board rejected his request for clemency last month.

His attorneys had argued that prison food contributed to a weight problem that would make it difficult to access a suitable vein for lethal injection. Cooey is 5-feet-7 and weighs 267 pounds.

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