back to article American man too fat for execution

An American death row inmate claims he's too fat for execution. With a lawsuit filed in federal court on Friday, the Associated Press reports, attorneys for the 5-feet-7-inch, 267-pound Richard Cooey say the executioner's needle would have trouble finding his veins. And even if it did find his veins, they insist, his heft would …

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Silver badge

Seen pictures

He's not actually that fat. He's about half a Prescott, possibly even a one third.

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Who runs the prison kitchens?

MacDonalds?

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Anonymous Coward

Only in the USA.

Eat too much and you get a reprieve.

Maybe if they withhold some food, but sorry, that is cruel. Of course, if we (the taxpayers) feed him too much isn't that cruel as well.

Suggestion: He picks his method of demise. His choice is binding as not being "cruel".

Yes, only in the USA!

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Heart

An idea

They could force hime to diet and excercise and drop a few pounds before executing him. Or would that be considered cruel and unusual punishment?

Heart because making him excercise would lower his risk of heart disease and possibly help him live longer...oh wait nevermind.

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Dead Vulture

He got fatter?!

It's not exactly a hard time he's having in chokey if he's managing to get fatter...

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Pirate

There's more than one way to skin a cat.

Or kill a fat bloke, for that matter.

Admittedly, the whole lethal injection thing is most pleasing, given the whole excruciatingly painful death thing.

But what's wrong with a good old fashioned firing squad, or a hanging. Hell, I'm sure if you defenestrated him he'd die on impact after a few goes, just gotta get him to land head first.

If you're feeling kind to rapists, I'm sure Nitrogen asphyxiation or even Carbon Monoxide poisoning would do the trick reasonably painlessly

Obviously, I'm not getting into the whole capital punishment right or wrong thing here, mainly because I don't care.

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healthy?

It would seem to be that in this case, being fat is actually a healthy thing to be.

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Pirate

I guess

hanging would be out of the question. Then again, toward the same end they could just start a morphine drip and, as Spinal Tap would put it, turn it to 11.

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Flame

McPrisons?

'merkin prisons are all-you-can-eat?

"Well, sarge, this here done guy's last meal request is 75,000 cheeseburgers, 978,00 large fries, 23,563 strawberry thick shakes, 672,042 apple pies, 12,399,774 choclate sundaes. Sarge, you fink dis guy's tryin' ter fool uses?"

Merkins.

"Cain't wees jerst shewt hims?"

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Dex
Flame

Well...

...If he's too fat then just sizzle him...bacon buttie icon anyone?

Flame icon....maybe a barbeque might be better?

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@Ian Rogers

IIRC there's a class action in progress at the moment where prisoners are suing the state for making them fat.

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IT Angle

Bah

You're never too fat for a bullet to kill you.

It's cheaper for John Q. Public too!

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Dead Vulture

I got some ideas

Make the guy walk 5 feet. Since breathing knocks the wind out of him, that should do the trick. Or you could play a William Shatner album. You can start by doing Shatner's version of Slim Shady from Futurama. And if you really need to be cruel, make him watch a documentary on lint.

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Only $0.50

Use a bullet. Quick, painless (if placed correctly) and probably cheaper.

How about a short career finding landmines?

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There's always the gas...

Wouldn't an anaesthetic that is administered in a different way solve things? How about nitrous oxide? Surely that would put the fatso to sleep so they could skip straight through to the final lethal drug...

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Death row for 22 years

Isn't 22 years almost a double life-sentence in this country?

Executing criminals (by any means) is barbaric.

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Obviously in the wrong prison

He would never have got that fat in ol' Joe Arpaio's canvas penitentiary, working out on the chain-gangs in the hot sun all day - I hear that the pink underwear doesn't come in XXXL...

Dunno about hanging - I'd feel worried for the priest and executioner standing on a hastily-erected scaffold with ol' lard-ass [sic].

Firing squad using elephant guns, perhaps?

Personally I'm waiting for his lawyer to announce he's sueing the Justice System for causing him to become unhealthily fat (it's only the stress of being incarcerated and facing execution that caused him to turn into the Michelin Man etc etc etc)

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Joke

Alternative forms of Capital Punishment

It can't be cruel and unusual if the bloke commits suicide, so here's some methods to coax the bastard into offing himself:

1. Pipe in Yoko Ono's Greatest Hits. Rinse and repeat.

2. Play nothing but the Rosie O'Donnell show.

3. Make the "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" blokes as his new cell mates.

4. Play alternating loops of Bush and Blair speeches.

Of course, you could just send him to Texas and he'd be dead next week.

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Dead Vulture

Re: Only 50c

Elephant gun cartridges (eg. .600 Nitro Express) cost approx $36 a pop: http://www.kynochusa.com/Cartridges.html 5 for $180

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JC
Gates Horns

Easier Solution

Give the fellow a gun, a room with meals delivered, and a record player just out of reach behind bulletproof glass playing the same Barry Manilow tune over and over.

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Alert

here's to the end of capital punishment!

Well that's it for capital punishment in the US then, isn't it? After all, who's left in that country that isn't fat? Okay, so the veggie cultists can still see their feet, but being morally superior to the rest of humanity should rule out criminal behaviour.

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Stop

@ Only in the USA.

And only in the USA, and a few other enlightened democracies like China (except Hong Kong & Macau), Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea & Saudi Arabia does the Government use capital punishment at all.

Those uncivilised Europeans abolished it years ago. Russia still has it on the books, apparently, but hasn't executed anyone since 1999.

Only in the USA indeed.

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Dead Vulture

Just hang him

Rope is cheap and reusable, gravity is free. Hang the bastard.

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Anonymous Coward

excruciating death => murderer's occupational hazard

The victims he was convicted to have raped and murdered almost certainly died an excruciating death, any bet, no matter how badly botched his execution will turn out, it won't be anywhere near as excruciating as being raped and murdered was for his victims. Also, he only pays one painful death for two painful deaths caused, that's a 50% discount bargain already.

In any event, who cares?! It makes for some amusing news headlines, but other than that, it really doesn't matter what happens to him, just or unjust, humane or not, there are far more important things to worry about.

I am neither in favour nor against capital punishment, the only concern I have about it is whether or not the trials are fair, which isn't always the case. However, if we can safely assume that this guy was properly represented and that he did rape and murder those victims, then why should we care that his execution may be unpleasant? His lawyers didn't complain about an unfair trial and he didn't seem to have claimed that he was falsely convicted.

I care more for the unfortunate guys who have to carry out death sentences, those are the ones who deserve our compassion. Perhaps, they should abandon the executions and offer death row inmates a cyanide cocktail with each meal. It would be up to the inmate to take it, voluntarily. Do this for years and years - the current process takes years anyway - and eventually many will take the cyanide. Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if under such a system they'd get more convicted inmates to leave this world than under the current system. Nobody could complain about this being cruel or inhumane, and it would be easier on the prison staff, too. At the very least, it should be worth a try.

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Coat

Here's an idea....

All the law enforcement bodies have mob connections, concrete shoes and chuck him overboard on the next ferry leaving the nearest coast! Probably work out a lot cheaper than organised executions, plus you haven't got clear up afterward....I've gone too far haven't I...I'll get me....

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Alien

@Mike Street

Looking at this article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Use_of_capital_punishment_by_nation I think that you are a tad light on the list of countries that still have it.

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Only in the USA???

"Those uncivilised Europeans" Err, no, Mike, because those corrupt beyond belief European parliaments just went and re-introduced the death penalty via the Lisbon treaty "in the case of war, riots, upheaval".

http://www.bueso.de/artikel/europa-nicht-als-grossstaat-sondern-als-republik-republiken-organisieren#G4

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Anonymous Coward

Reg sinks to a new low

Wonderful, a bunch of witty comments from nerd shitsacks on how to kill someone.

Well played, Reg.

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More bizarre

Not as weird as the guy a couple of years ago. He tried to beat the executioner by topping himself a couple of days before his date with destiny, but failed. The authorities insisted on waiting till he got better before executing him.

How twisted can you get.

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Suing people for making you fat.....

The trouble is, using common sense that lawsuit would fall down on one main point. Even in prison, nobody picks up the food and forces you to eat it.

But then, when did any legal system use common sense?

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Happy

@Mike Street

My sentiments exactly!

Interestingly, the US did stop using it for a bit (1973 - 1977). Perhaps they'll come round (again)

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Anonymous Coward

He's heard of Mitchell Rupe

Cooley isn't the first American to try this. Mitchell Rupe, sentenced to death for shooting two bank tellers in a 1981 robbery, stuffed himself like a pig and refused all exercise. After a couple of years he attained a weight over 425 pounds, too heavy for the prison scale and (crucially) off the chart for the US Army manual used to calculate the proper drop for hanging, which was the execution method in Washington State at that time. He consequently escaped the rope, and died in prison in February 2006.

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Unhappy

@Bryn Smith

Sorry, but Nitrous Oxide or 'laughing gas' as it's also known won't put anyone to sleep.

Not unless you crank it up way over the safe limits, anyhow.

(Even the dosage necesary to make people giggle is 'over the safe limit' according to my dentist.)

Can't have him dying of heart problems instead of the injection, can we?

Shoot the bastard in the knees, then drop him off somewhere sunny.

Death valley is supposed to be nice this time of year...

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@Seen pictures

OK, Lets compromise, we'll let this guy spend his life in jail and we'll execute prescott instead? Deal??

Victory!

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Anonymous Coward

@Mike Street

I'm not trying to justify the death penalty in any way, but it should be pointed out that you forgot Japan, which, although it executes fewer people then the USA, executes a greater proportion of its murderers (they have a much lower crime rate).

I'd like to see more awareness of the death penalty in Japan and more external pressure to abolish it. Japan is probably more sensitive to foreign opinion that the USA is, though of course they are most sensitive to the opinion of the world's imperial superpower ...

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Stop

also only in the USA

On the CNN story it says that "he was at greater risk of experiencing pain and suffering because he was overweight and diabetic". WTF?!

Who cares if the guy is going to suffer pain from this? He was found guilty of raping and murdering 2 women and sentenced to death. Life imprisonment would be harder than the lethal injection.

Let the bastard suffer.

Alternatively, as mentioned by Chris, they should make the fat fucker do a little exercise and reschedule his execution when they can get to his nicely clogged veins

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N

Firing squad then...

At least they wont miss

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Lethal Injection

Truth is, they don't know if the first drug works on anybody. Because it paralyses the (execution) victims, they don't know whether it actually stops the pain or just stops them reacting and (for obvious reasons) they have no anecdotal data to work with.

My deep opposition to capital punishment here is set alongside my dislike of this sort of lawsuit (which is bordering on the vexatious). But then, it truly is a matter of life or death.

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Send in the Guardian readers

Let them bore him to death. If that fails send in a few vegans.

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Vic
Alien

Two things

Naughty AC ***'merkin prisons are all-you-can-eat?***

See, a merkin would be pointless as he wouldn't be able to see it.....ohhhhhh, I see what you mean. <smirk>

And the other thing is, does no one see the ironies in this whole thing. I mean really.

1. Did he give anaesthetics to the people he supposedly murdered? So does anyone really care if he hurts a bit?

2. Um, you can kill him because that's okay but it mustn't hurt because that's not okay? That sounds more like for the executioners' peace of mind actually but if you're prepared to kill the bloke, why would you care?

3. They can only execute people who are lean but they feed the prisoners up and let them skive out of exercise? D.U.M.B.

If you'd just accept that capital punishment is sick anyway, you'd get over these logical hurdles. Yes, I know the appeals process is allegedly 'exhaustive' but it's pretty exhaustive in a lot of other countries and people still get let off after years - in the UK you can think about the cot death mums and that stalker guy that was let out the other day...not much hope for them if they'd already been executed now.

Alien concept...

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Flame

Quoth

"All of the experts agree if the first drug doesn't work, the execution is going to be excruciating,"

Isn't that the whole point? Don't suppose he gave much thought to the pain of his victims or their loved ones at the time (or since). Let Him scream, and show it on TV (preferably in HD with Nicam stereo), might deter some of the other crims.

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@Death Row for 22 years

"Isn't 22 years almost a double life-sentence in this country?"

I think thats the problem with the corrections system in this country - commit murder and you get an all expenses paid weekend trip to one of our 5 star prisons where you can play PlayStation all day at the tax payer.

I dont believe in capital punishment, but I believe in keeping the public safe by keeping criminals behind bars. Guess I havent stopped to consider the poor criminals feelings, oh woe is them, crime is a tough job and somebody has got to do it, right?

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Flame

Send 'im down 'ere

I need a big one for the fires!

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Pirate

Re: "Russia still has it on the books, apparently, but hasn't executed anyone since 1999"

I haven't laughed so hard in a while.

But it did give me one idea for another suggestion: stick some Polonium in his morning McShake. Sounds like he deserves no better.

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Anonymous Coward

@Only in the USA

and on the London Underground... The difference is that on the tube they don't get a trial first...

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Thumb Down

Will It Blend?

A must try, surely?

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Pirate

cruel and unusual?

I'm sure that his victims and their families will be happy that he gets a comforable painless death. Who cares if he dies agonisingly or not I'm sure that his victims ordeal was far more traumatic. Why shouldn't he suffer the fear and pain he put them through?

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Flame

Why shouldn't it be painful?

Without getting into the debate over whether a country *should* use capital punishment, the fact remains that right now, that state *does* use it.

He murdered, was tried by a jury of your peers and was found guilty, and thus sentenced to death.

It isn't meant to be a nice thing; it's meant to be a deterrent. I've long thought that if the country is going to kill the criminals, it should be painful to help deter others from committing the crime, which is after all the point of it.

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Bob
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IncARSEration

What is this 'fat' everyone's talking about? Didn't the politically correct brigade make that word - and by association, the condition - obesolete? (See what I did there? Har har.)

Seriously, WTF? What the hell has happened to prisons? People used to be afraid of imprisonment, but now it seems more like a paid holiday.

The world is turning to crap because of criminals contorting human rights. "What about the victims??!" (little Timmy voice)

Burn the fat fuck, and all his lawyers along with him.

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Pirate

Hang (!!) about

Surely all the doctors have been telling us that getting fat is unhealthy and you'll die from clogging up your arteries ? Force feed the fat bar steward pure fat and make him smoke say 100 ciggies a day. If that doesn't kill him then all doctors should shut the fcuk up about my lifestyle (admittedly I don't go round raping people to help lose weight though).

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