Normally being morbidly obese is a shortcut to an early grave, but in Ronald Post's case, it could save his life.
The death row inmate is attempting to delay his execution by claiming that he is too fat for the procedure to work effectively.
Post is due to be put to death on January 16, 2013, for a murder he committed in 1983, but lawyers are arguing that his weight, which is currently at least 34 stone (216 kilograms), will affect the method normally used by the Ohio prison he is being kept in.
Inmates are killed with a single dose of pentobarbital, usually administered through injection to the arms, but court documents submitted by Post's lawyers suggested that scar tissue, vein access and other medical problems mean that there could be severe problems with the procedure, which may create a "torturous and lingering death". In addition, the execution gurney may not be able to cope with his weight.
Attempts by Post to lose weight have apparently failed due to knee and back problems making him unable to exercise, a denied request for gastric bypass surgery and severe depression - perhaps understandable - leading to overeating.
A previous case saw 19 stone Richard Cooey's application for a delay rejected, but of course Post is nearly twice that size; it remains to be seen what decision will be made.
[via Sky News]
Image: Sky News