Ohio Spares Man 'Too Fat to Be Executed'
But it wasn't Ronald Post's weight that saved him
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2012 12:03 AM CST
This undated file photo provided by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections shows death row inmate Ronald Post.    (AP Photo/Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, File)

(Newser) – A 450-pound murderer in Ohio who argued that he was too fat to be executed has been spared—but not because of his weight. Gov. John Kasich followed a parole board's recommendation and commuted Ronald Post's death sentence to life without parole on the grounds that he had received poor legal representation, Reuters reports.

"Regardless of the heinous nature of their crime, a criminal defendant is entitled to an effective defense, especially in a death penalty case," the governor said in a statement. Post had been scheduled to be executed next month for shooting motel clerk Helen Vantz dead during a 1983 robbery. In a court filing earlier this year, Post's lawyers said trying to execute their client would cause "serious physical and psychological pain to him, as well as an execution involving a torturous and lingering death."