Ronald Post, convicted of murder in 1983, was meant to be executed in January next year, but is fighting that decision on the basis that he is too fate to be humanely executed.
Post has previously argued in federal court that, at 450 pounds, he’s too heavy to be humanely executed and will suffer cruel and unusual punishment as the state struggles to find his veins or give him enough drugs to put someone his size to death.
The 53–year-old Post, who is now 450 pounds, was sentenced to die for the 1983 shooting of Elyria motel clerk Helen Vantz during a robbery. Vantz’ sons, William and Michael, both attended Thursday’s parole board hearing.
Post admitted involvement in the crime as the get-away driver to a police informant but did not admit to the killing.
“Sure ain’t no murderer,” Post told the informant, according to Post’s clemency filing.
Doubt about Post’s guilt lingers because of the involvement of two other men in the shooting, Post’s attorneys argue. Post pleaded no contest to the crime on the advice of his attorney in expectation he would receive a life sentence, the attorneys argue. Even after his plea, he told a psychologist “he was not a murderer.”
Post’s attorneys say prosecutors misrepresented to the judge that Post had confessed to sole involvement in Vantz’s death.
“The death penalty should be reserved for cases where proof of guilt is reliable and the legal system produced a just result,” Post’s attorneys said. “Neither criteria is met in this case.”
Lorain County prosecutor Dennis Will argues against Post’s fight for clemency. Will writes, “Even though some of Post’s personal admissions of criminal actions did not include an express and explicit personal admission that he was the shooter of Helen Vantz, all of Post’s admissions amount to a confession by Post that he committed crimes at the Slumber Inn.”
The parole board hearing could last two days.
A federal judge plans a hearing later this month on Post’s obesity claims.