Federal court, Ohio high court reject death stay

Richard Cooey (Courtesy Ohio Department of Corrections)
Richard Cooey (Courtesy Ohio Department of Corrections)

CINCINNATI (AP) - A federal appeals court and the Ohio Supreme Court have rejected arguments that a death row inmate is too obese to die by lethal injection.

The courts on Thursday gave the go-ahead to execute 41-year-old Richard Cooey, who is scheduled to die by lethal injection on Tuesday for killing two University of Akron students in 1986. He would be the first person executed in Ohio since the end of a de facto moratorium on lethal injection that lasted more than a year.

Cooey's attorneys had argued that prison food and limited opportunities to exercise contributed to Cooey's obsesity, exacerbating problems for the execution team in finding a viable vein for lethal injection.

Cooey is 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighs 267 pounds.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)