A death row inmate who weighs 480 pounds is arguing that he is too fat to be executed.
Ronald Post, who shot and killed a hotel clerk in northern Ohio almost 30 years ago, wants his upcoming execution delayed, saying his weight could lead to a "torturous and lingering death."
The case is similar to Washington's own Mitchell Rupe, a 409-pound death row inmate who had his death sentence overturned after a federal judge ruled hanging him would cause decapitation and become cruel and unusual punishment.
Rupe was convicted of killing two Olympia bank tellers in 1981. He died in prison of a terminal liver disease at age 51.
Post, 53, is scheduled to die Jan. 16 for the 1983 shooting death of Helen Vantz in Elyria.
In court papers, Post claims his weight, vein access, scar tissue and other medical problems raise the likelihood his executioners would encounter severe problems.
He's also so big that the execution gurney might not hold him, lawyers for Post said in federal court papers filed Friday.
Ohio executes inmates with a single dose of pentobarbital, usually injected through the arms.
Medical personnel have had a hard time inserting IVs into Post's arms, according to the court filing.
Four years ago, an Ohio State University medical center nurse needed three attempts to insert an IV into Post's left arm, the lawyers wrote.
Post has tried losing weight, but knee and back problems have made it difficult to exercise, according to his court filing.