Too Obese to Die???

There have been a series of articles that discuss deathrow inmates and their request for clemency due to the fact that they are obese.  The inmates claim an even greater risk of experiencing excruciating pain and suffering than other inmates due to the fact that they are overweight.

Similar lawsuits have been filed in several states which have led to the halting of executions in Texas, Delaware and New Jersey.

The men in these articles have tortured, raped and killed innocent people.  What gives them the right to life? They took a life, if not, several.  What about the rights of the victim’s family to see justice for the loss of a loved one?

What kind of message would we be giving criminals?  By halting executions, are we telling “would be” criminals to fatten up to commit heinous crimes so that they may not face the death penalty?  I don’t think the victims of these men had a choice in the way their lives ended so abruptly!

 

Here are the articles, if you would like to read them…   

http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/08/25/death.penalty.fat.ap/index.html

http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/story?id=3684431

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2 Comments »

  1. Comment by JGrimes October 14, 2008

    October 14, 2008
    By MATT REED, Associated Press Writer

    Ohio executed a 5-foot-7, 267-pound double murderer on Tuesday who argued his obesity made death by lethal injection inhumane.

    Richard Cooey, 41, died at 10:28 a.m. at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, said Jim Gravelle, a spokesman with state attorney general’s office.

    There were no immediate reports of difficulties finding suitable veins to deliver the deadly chemicals, a problem that has delayed previous executions in the state.

    Cooey’s attorneys had argued that his weight problem would make it difficult for prison staff to access a vein. A prisons spokeswoman said Cooey received a pre-execution exam early Tuesday and was cleared.

    Cooey, who killed two University of Akron students in 1986, walked into the death chamber at 10:15 a.m. wearing gray pants and was strapped onto the gurney.

    “You (expletive) haven’t paid any attention to anything I’ve said in the last 22 1/2 years, why would anyone pay any attention to anything I’ve had to say now,” Cooey said looking at the ceiling. He made no other comment.

    Cooey tapped the fingers of his left hand several times before he died and his face took on a purple shade.

    Six family members of one of his victims watched the execution. Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh said the family was disappointed that Cooey was vulgar and hateful at the end.

    He was the first inmate executed in Ohio in more than a year, and the state’s first since the end of the unofficial moratorium on executions that began last year while the U.S. Supreme Court reviewed Kentucky’s lethal injection procedure.

    Cooey lost a final appeal earlier Tuesday when the U.S. Supreme Court turned down without comment his complaint that the state’s protocol for lethal injection could cause an agonizing and painful death. He wanted the state to use a single drug rather than a three-drug combination, and asked for a stay of execution pending a hearing on that motion.

    The court on Monday denied a separate appeal based on Cooey’s claim that his obesity was a bar to humane lethal injection. The argument also had been rejected by a federal appeals court in Cincinnati and the Ohio Supreme Court, with both courts ruling that he missed a deadline for filing appeals.

    Cooey is 75 pounds heavier than when he went to death row — the result of prison food and 23-hour-a-day confinement, his lawyers said.

    They also argued that a migraine medicine prescribed by a prison physician could reduce the effect of the anesthetic used as part of the three-drug lethal injection.

    They claimed that Ohio has a history of botched executions.

    The last Ohio inmate to be executed was Christopher Newton — who was similar in size to Cooey — in May 2007. The execution team had trouble putting IVs in his arm, which delayed his execution nearly two hours. There were similar problems in the execution of another inmate in 2006.

    Cooey made an earlier trip to the death house. But a U.S. District Court judge intervened hours before his scheduled execution in July 2003 when the Ohio Public Defender’s office said it needed more time to assess the case after an appeals court dismissed his previous attorneys for inadequate representation.

    Cooey and a co-defendant were convicted in the sexual assaults and slayings of University of Akron students Dawn McCreery, 20, and Wendy Offredo, 21, in September 1986. His co-defendant was 17 and was sentenced to life in prison because of his age.

    The state has now executed 27 inmates since 1999, when Ohio renewed executions after more than three decades.

  2. Comment by Dan January 30, 2009

    Thoughts about Obesity

    Obesity is when excess body fat accumulates in one to where this overgrowth makes the person unhealthy to varying degrees. Obesity is different than being overweight, as it is of a more serious concern. As measured by one’s body mass index (BMI), one’s BMI of 25 to 30 kg/m is considered overweight. If their BMI is 30 to 35 kg/m, they are class I obese, 35 to 40 BMI would be class II obese, and any BMI above 40 is class III obesity. Presently, with obesity affecting children progressively more, the issue of obesity has become a serious public health concern.
    Approximately half of all children under the age of 12 are either obese are overweight. About twenty percent of children ages 2 to 5 years old are either obese are overweight. Worldwide, nearly one and a half billion people are either obese or overweight. In the United States, about one third of adults are either obese or overweight. It is now predicted that, for the first time in about 150 years, our life expectancy is suppose to decline.
    Morbid obesity is defined as one who has a body mass index of 30 kg/m or greater, and this surgery, along with the three other types of surgery for morbid obesity, should be considered a last resort after all other methods to reduce the patient’s weight have chronically failed. Morbid obesity greatly affects the health of the patient in a very negative way. It has about 10 co-morbidities that can develop if the situation is not corrected. Some if not most of these co-morbidities are life-threatening.
    One solution beneficial in many cases of morbid obesity if one’s obesity is not eventually controlled or corrected is what is known as gastric bypass surgery. This is a type of bariatric surgery that essentially reduces the volume of the human stomach in order to correct and treat morbid obesity by surgical re-construction of the stomach and small intestine. Patients for such surgeries are those with a BMI of greater than 40, or a BMI greater than 35 if the patient has comorbidities aside from obesity. This surgery should be considered for the severely obese when other treatment options have failed.
    There are three surgical variations of gastric bypass surgery, and one is chosen by the surgeon based on their experience and success from the variation they will utilize. Generally, these surgeries are either gastric restrictive operations or malabsorptive operations. Over 200,000 gastric bypass surgeries are performed each year, and this surgery being performed continues to progress as a suitable option for the morbidly obese. There is evidence that this surgery is particularly beneficial for those obese patients that have non-insulin dependent Diabetes Mellitus as well.
    So the surgery to correct morbid obesity greatly limits or prevents such co-morbidities associated with those who are obese. Two percent of those who undergo this surgery die as a result from about a half a dozen complications that could occur. However, the surgery reduces the overall mortality of the patient by 40 percent or so, yet this percentage is debatable due to conflicting clinical studies.
    Age of the patient should be taken into consideration, as to whether or not the risks of this surgery outweigh any potential benefits for the patient who may have existing co-morbidities that have already caused physiological damage to the patient. Also what should be determined by the surgeon is the amount of safety, effectiveness, and rationale for a particular patient regarding those patients who are elderly, for example.
    Many feel bariatric surgery such as this should be considered as a last resort when exercise and diet have failed for a great length of time.
    If a person or a doctor is considering this type of surgery, there is a website dedicated to bariatric surgery, which is: http://www.asmbs.org,

    Dan Abshear

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