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Obese condemned Ohio killer spared

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The governor sidestepped a decision Monday about whether a condemned inmate was too fat to be humanely executed by sparing the prisoner on the grounds that he had poor legal representation.

Governor John Kasich’s decision to grant clemency to Ronald Post mirrored the recommendation of mercy by the state parole board, which said it didn’t doubt Post’s guilt but said there were too many problems with how he was represented 30 years ago.

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Post, who weighs 450 pounds, never raised the issue of his size with the board. And Kasich, who commuted Post’s sentence to life with no chance of parole, didn’t mention Post’s obesity claim in his statement. Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols said the governor didn’t consider Post’s obesity claim.

The governor said all criminal defendants, regardless of the heinousness of the crimes, deserve an adequate defense. ‘‘This decision should not be viewed by anyone as diminishing this awful crime or the pain it has caused,’’ he said.

Post was scheduled to die Jan. 16, for killing Elyria motel clerk Helen Vantz in a 1983 robbery.

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