Inmate Too Fat to Execute: Just Shoot Me
Cooey says that he didn't intentionally pile on the pounds
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2008 12:54 PM CDT
In this 2003 file photo, Richard Cooey gestures during an interview at the Mansfield Correctional Institution, where he is on death row for the murders of two University of Akron students in 1986.   (AP Photo/The Columbus Dispatch, Haraz Ghanbari)
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(Newser) – Convicted killer Richard Cooey knows there have been jokes at his expense. But he insists he’s not afraid to die— just too fat for lethal injection. At 5’ 7”, 267 pounds, Cooey is so rotund that it’s nigh-impossible to find a vein. “It's hard getting access to my veins,” Cooey told CNN. “If it would make people happy, shoot me in the head with a .45. Do it legally.”

Cooey has gained 70 pounds in prison, but says it was a natural product of insufficient exercise, not a plan to avoid the death chamber. He says his lawsuit was a constitutional challenge, and has been unfairly ridiculed. “It has nothing to do with weight gain.” Cooey and another man were convicted of raping and killing a pair of girls after stopping their car with a concrete brick.