Did you think granting superior legal status to lunatics and mental defectives, so that they are immune to capital punishment, was the last limit of absurdity? Wrong. The case of 450-pound Ronald Post advanced the legal defense that you cannot be expected to pay your full debt to society if you are fat — although in the end Post found another way to dodge the needle:
Post was scheduled to die Jan. 16 for killing Elyria [Ohio] 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.
Then shoot him. Problem solved for when this comes up again.
More encouraging for murderers than the attempted obesity defense is that Post’s life was saved by the incompetence of his lawyers. If all else fails, lawyers can get their guilty clients off by deliberately botching the case. This is in perfect harmony with the prevailing liberal value system, which calls for always rewarding that which is inferior.
On a tip from Wiggins.