Well, the issue has come up again in neighboring Ohio, where a death row inmate who weighs 480 pounds is suing for a postponement of execution because of his weight. He contends that his weight and accompanying health issues, including his mental depression, will make the experience torturous and result in a lingering death. He is slated to be executed in January of next year. Well, of course he’s depressed. Who wouldn’t be?
Whether I agree with capital punishment or not isn’t the point. It exists in 33 states–the argument for it has to do with the belief that it’s a viable deterrent to violent crimes, and it’s considered a form of justice using the eye-for-eye principle. There were 43 executions last year, all by lethal injection. What baffles me is the incongruity of this. If you’re being executed for your crimes as an extreme form of punishment, is it supposed to be painless?
This isn’t the first time that the federal courts have been asked to hear cases about death row inmates with weight issues wanting to get some of form reprieve from their executions, according to CBS News. But past cases have been rejected and the overweight inmates have been executed, although the process has taken much longer because of the trouble finding viable veins for the IV needles used for the lethal injections.