Monday, August 25, 2008
41-year old Richard Wade Cooey was unanimously denied clemency in 2003 and actually ate his "last meal." But a federal judge granted a stay of execution which has kept him alive. Now, with the execution rescheduled for October, Cooey's lawyers are going through another clemency hearing. Found guilty of kidnapping, rape and murder, Cooey argues that he is too obese to be executed in a manner that does not violate the Constitution's "cruel and unusual punishment" standard. He is 5'7" and weighs 267 pounds and the method of execution that he faces is lethal injection. More specifically, the argument is that it would be difficult to find his veins and that he might not be properly anaesthetised. A memo from a nurse suggested that the execution process start 15 minutes early since Cooey's veins are "sparse." Lawyers also say that a drug Cooey is taking for migraine headaches could diminish the effectiveness of the drugs that Ohio uses in its execution process. It has also been noted that, as a child, Cooey was poor, abused and a persistent user of drugs and alcohol. One of his lawyers says, ''Cooey is remorseful to the point of self-loathing. The Rick Cooey of Aug. 31, 1986, does not exist.'' See articles here and here and here.