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Obese Ohio inmate tries to put off execution

Condemned convict Ronald Post.

Ohio Dept. Of Rehabilitation and Corrections/Handout/Reuters

Condemned convict Ronald Post.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A condemned killer trying to delay his execution because of his extreme weight has not raised enough new issues to warrant the legal challenge, a federal judge ruled Monday.

Death row inmate Ronald Post, who weighs more than 400 pounds, is asking the courts to stop his January execution on the grounds his weight could cause him to suffer severe pain during the procedure.

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Post is prohibited from challenging his execution by injection because he raised similar claims in his first set of federal appeals in 1997, Judge Lesley Wells said Monday in Cleveland. In general, death row inmates are allowed only one federal appeal when alleging the same set of facts.

Post ‘‘has not demonstrated in his new petition that his medical condition has changed so significantly, or that Ohio’s new lethal injection procedures have changed so radically, since he filed his first petition in 1997 that his original core complaints are transformed into something new,’’ Wells wrote.

However, the judge sent the question to a federal appeals court in Cincinnati for a final determination according to federal law governing this type of appeal.

Post, 53, was sentenced to die for the 1983 shooting death of hotel desk clerk Helen Vantz in Elyria. His execution is scheduled for Jan. 16.

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