Board: Give Clemency to Obese Inmate

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Ronald Post

COLUMBUS, Ohio — An eight-member Ohio Parole Board has voted 5-3 to recommend to Governor John Kasich that clemency be granted in the case of obese death row inmate, Ronald Post, and that his sentence be changed to life without the possibility of parole.

The ruling did not, however, state Post’s weight as being the reason for recommending mercy on him. Rather, the board questioned his legal representation.

Post, 53, was convicted in the 1983 murder of Helen Vantz, who worked as a hotel clerk at the Slumber Inn in Elyria.

According to prosecutors, Post had visited the hotel with two other men, and then he returned alone. When Vantz let him in, Post shot her twice in the head and robbed her of $100.

Lawyers for Post say reports of his confession in the killing have been exaggerated. They also questioned how his original attorneys handled his no contest plea.

Post has argued he’s too big to be put to death. He weighs more than 480 pounds and doesn’t believe a needle would work or that gurneys would hold him. He said a request for bypass surgery was denied.

He is scheduled to die Jan. 16.

Kasich has until then to decide Post’s fate.

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