Ohio governor spares condemned obese killer

The governor on Monday sidestepped a decision about whether a condemned inmate was too fat to be humanely executed by sparing the prisoner on the grounds that he had poor legal representation.
Associated Press
Dec 17, 2012

 

Gov. John Kasich's decision to grant clemency to Ronald Post mirrored the recommendation of mercy by the state parole board, which said it didn't doubt Post's guilt but said there were too many problems with how he was represented 30 years ago.

Post, who weighs 450 pounds, never raised the issue of his size with the board. And Kaisch, who commuted Post's sentence to life with no chance of parole, didn't mention Post's obesity claim in his statement.

The governor said all criminal defendants, regardless of the heinousness of the crimes, deserve an adequate defense.

"This decision should not be viewed by anyone as diminishing this awful crime or the pain it has caused," Kasich said.

In its Friday decision, the parole board rejected arguments made by Post's attorneys that he deserves mercy because of lingering doubts about his "legal and moral guilt" in a woman's death, but it said it couldn't ignore perceived missteps by his lawyers.

Post was scheduled to die Jan. 16 for killing Elyria motel clerk Helen Vantz in a 1983 robbery.

"Post took Vantz's life, devastating the lives of her loved ones in the process," the board said in its 5-3 decision. But it said a majority of its members agreed his sentence should be commuted to life in prison without chance of parole because of omissions, missed opportunities and questionable decisions made by his previous attorneys and because that legal representation didn't meet expectations for a death penalty case.

Dissenting parole board members said it was clear Post killed Vantz and that questionable moves by his attorneys don't outweigh the circumstances of the case.

Separately, Post had argued in federal court that executing him would amount to cruel and unusual punishment. His attorneys said he would suffer "a torturous and lingering death" as executioners tried to find a vein or use a backup method where lethal drugs are injected directly into muscle.

Vantz's sons, William and Michael, have said they believe in Post's guilt. William Vantz characterized Post's obesity claim as "another way for a coward to try and get out of what debt he owes to society."

The long-held presumption that Post confessed to the murder to several people has been falsely exaggerated, Post's attorneys have argued. Post admitted involvement in the crime as the getaway driver to a police informant but didn't admit to the killing.

"Sure ain't no murderer," Post told that informant, according to Post's clemency filing.

Post's attorneys argued that 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," the defense had said. "Neither criteria is met in this case."

Lorain County prosecutor Dennis Will had pointed to the written no contest plea, in which Post acknowledged responsibility, as "a compelling reason" to reject clemency.

 

Comments

richrs

I hope this will be the last story we hear about this.

vicariouslyAlive

humane treatment for inhumane people... this nation is a joke.

BlueAngel

NOT FAIR...NOT RIGHT!! there are other ways! The woman HE MURDERED didnt get any MERCY!! why couldn't they inject him in his gums or something...like they do on TV to induce heart attacks!! ITS JUST WRONG...WRONG...WRONG!!

DEEPsix's picture
DEEPsix

STARVE HIM TO DEATH...

mikeylikesit

get used to it. it's the american way now. protect the rights of criminals at all costs. blame ANYBODY, ANYTHING except the criminal.

nightroller's picture
nightroller

Just put a bullet in that fat slobs head, hes been alive long enough for killing, its his turn to die now.

asweetnessabove

Wow! I think Kasich just lost some supporters!

bondgirlM

Kasich just lost me as a supporter the stinking RINO
I have no respect or use for him anymore. I will not vote before I would vote for him.

worddrow811

He has to be EATING a ton of food to remain that heavy. Move more, eat less should get him in shape to be killed by the state.

tonto

Hope no other prisioners read this. How long it takes for someone to be put to death, they will have 30 plus years to fatten up and they also won't be put to death.

Mommy25

Kasich, you lost some votes buddy

thinktwice

Just hang that lard a$$. His head will pop off. The End.

gene44870

This is crazy , the killer didn't give mercy or hum on rights to the women he killed , .why on earth would you give them to the one that killed her ? Where's the justice ?Its not right
I think its time for us to get a new governor , and send this one back where he came from

taxpayingcitizen

You have to be kidding me. There is no reason that appropriate vascular access cannot be established with an intraosseous line. If you can use a drill you can place this type of IV line. They are used in codes all the time for people with tough IV access. Now we get to pay for this jerk to sit in jail the rest of his life. We ask ourselves what is wrong with our society. Well here is your answer, no consequences for actions.

Steelerfan7272

His fat butt is gonna laugh all the way to the dinner table tonight! Best anyone can hope for is that some "in house" justice is served and someone takes care of it on the inside for the family! But I'm guessing he is in solitary because of his fat butt and so nobody can mess with him so he got the greatest gift of all for Christmas this year. While he is gonna die in prison he knows it won't be by a needle!

wiredmama222

This is the biggest miscarriage of justice I have ever seen. The governor should NEVER have done this. The family of this victim was just denied their closure and this fat (#q(#(q got away with murder a second time. Total unfair. I hope we never hear another word about this guy.

luvblues2

I say give him twinkies until he eats himself to death. Kasich just messed up.

EZOB

Kasich,
You just lost My vote also. I'll be sending a note to the statehouse. I voted for you last time but would rather vote for the Devil now. There isn't any consideration what so ever for the victims families, seem like never.

KnuckleDragger

Good, now he will be off death row and tossed into General population, where the prisoners will carry out the sentence.

grandmasgirl

I agree with the comments, but the thing that has upset me more than the stories on this man is the cocky "Ha Ha" look on his face. I, too, don't understand how he got this fat. Jail food must be a lot better than it should be.

Cityslicker

One more reason that Kasich has to go. And talk about lame excuses.

luvblues2

Fat belly Chunk just killed Kasich's chance for re-election. :)

thinkagain's picture
thinkagain

Plenty of comments, all seeking to quench their blood lust for vengeance. Hasn’t there been enough killings this week? Locking murderers away for life achieves the same goal without requiring us to take yet another life.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, it's much more costly to execute a person than to imprison them for life. Executing a single capital case costs about three times as much as it costs to keep a person in prison for their remaining life expectancy, which is about 40 years.

OK, you can all go back to yelling crucify him, it’s very fitting for the Christmas season.

jamo

WOW. Most of the commentors on here must not have read the article. Kasich didn't grant him clemency because of his weight. He did so because he wasn't properly defended during his trial. Not that it makes the decision any better. What gets me though is how he got that fat while in prison. Obama came down hard on school lunches so that the cafeteria workers had to count every single calorie in each lunch. Are they not doing that in prison as well? And if not, why are prisoners fed better than our students?