15 October 2008

Too Fat To Be Executed?

This is not necessarily a story I have been following closely, but it is a story that has some interesting legal implications. I have written about this particular case here.

Richard Cooey is a convicted rapist and murderer. These are charges that he has not denied. He was convicted of raping and murdering two young women in 1986. However, as he was waiting on death row in Ohio he also gained a considerable amount of weight. I guess sitting around 23 hours a day doing nothing much in one's cell could lead to a weight problem. Perhaps prisons need to work out how to give death row inmates more time for physical exercise. He weighed in at an impressive 125kgs.

Cooey had claimed that his obesity would mean that a lethal injection was tantamount to cruel and unusual punishment and as such prohibited by the provisions of the US Constitution. The other claim that Cooey's lawyers were arguing was that Cooey was taking a medication that would adversely impact on the effectiveness of the lethal injection drugs and cause him to suffer unnecessarily.

The appeal to the Supreme Court was denied by Justice Stevens. Justice Stevens is one of the more liberal justices of the current Supreme Court.

Simply, executing overweight or obese people is no less constitutional than executing death row inmates living within the "healthy" range, at least, as it relates to weight.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bread and water and the treadwheel might have resolved his problem.

On banding his belly.

Bear

Elyani said...

I take it he's worry about a painful death, but did he take into consideration when he killed those two young women? Other way to kill him is firing squad or poison him. Ouch...

Rob Baiton said...

PB...

I don't know that you can force prisoners to exercise. I also think that bread and water, albeit a good start, would probably see some complaints from nutritionists about not getting a little of everything from the five food groups or whatever measure they use now.

Rob Baiton said...

Elyani...

I am guessing that he probably did not think all that much about it at the time. He is probably no longer thinking about it now. Although maybe he is as he stands around busting rocks in the fires of hell!

Dr. Charlene Wills said...

A SYDNEY hospital has become possibly the first in the world to appoint a doctor dedicated to treating overweight children in an urgent attempt to tackle the nation's obesity epidemic. The appointment, at The Children's Hospital at West mead, comes as the number of overweight and obese children surveys to more than 1.5 million and health systems struggle to deal with the fallout. http://www.phentermine-effects.com

Rob Baiton said...

DR. Wills...

I read that a month or so ago. It was in the paper.

Obesity is a worrying trend.

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