In America, we still have managed to kick the bucket down road when it comes to dealing with the death penalty.
2012 saw a few high-profile capital punishment cases debated — none more contentious than Troy Davis of Georgia — which undoubtedly spurred the momentous campaign behind this past November’s proposition 34, a prop designed to reform the California penal system and do away with its death penalty, which also generated support from California legislators, judges, and grass-roots organizations. Needless to say, after much debate, prop 34 lost by 6 percentage points.
In a bizarre death penalty case, Ohio’s governor commuted the death sentence of convicted murderer Ronald Post. Many claimed the Republican Gov. John Kasich granted clemency because inmate Post’s was concerned that he was too obese to be executed humanely.
Gov. Kasich said in a statement that Post’s legal representation “did not rise to the level that society has come to expect in death penalty cases.” Post will instead spend life in prison with no chance of parole, The Associated Press reported. On Friday, a parole board had recommended that Post’s death sentence be commuted to a life term, according to Reuters.
Post, 53, had been scheduled to die Jan. 16 for the 1983 shooting death of Helen Vantz in northern Ohio. The woman worked in an Elyria, Ohio motel Post was robbing, and died after the man shot her twice in the back of the head.
In September of this year, Post’s lawyers argued their 480-pound client had difficulty losing weight and claimed he would face a “torturous and lingering death” if executed in January. Post also claimed his weight, vein access, scar tissue, depression and other medical problems could pose severe problems for executioners. However in November, a federal judge dismissed this attempt to stop the lethal injection, The Plain Dealer in Cleveland reported.
This bring us to this question: Should death row inmates who are morbidly obese spend life in prison instead of being executed? Your tax dollars will pay for him to receive obesity-related medication and basic care for his condition for the rest of his natural life …
Looking at it as objectively as possible, considering Post’s heinous crimes, this case seems to underscore the paradox that is our health care system. Studies continue to warn about the tremendous amount of money Americans will have to spend to help deal with the obesity epidemic, and when it comes to free, seemingly upstanding citizens, we hear an uproar of disapproval whenever Obamacare is mentioned — which, essentially, is a plan, however flawed, to deal with this problem — but those same people have no problem housing and paying for prisoners.