Today Gov. John R. Kasich issued the following statement upon commuting the sentence of Ronald Post to life in prison without the possibility of parole:
"Regardless of the heinous nature of their crime, a criminal defendant is entitled to an effective defense, especially in a death penalty case. The Parole Board’s conclusion is that Ronald Post did not come close to receiving such a defense. After my own careful review, I agree. Therefore I am ordering that he spend the rest of his life in prison with no possibility of ever getting out. This decision should not be viewed by anyone as diminishing this awful crime or the pain it has caused.”
The warrant of commutation is available in Adobe .pdf format.
U.S. News & World Report posts the AP report, "Ohio governor spares condemned obese killer," written by Andrew Welsh-Huggins.
The governor on Monday sidestepped a decision about whether a condemned inmate was too fat to be humanely executed by sparing the prisoner on the grounds that he had poor legal representation.
Gov. John Kasich's decision to grant clemency to Ronald Post mirrored the recommendation of mercy by the state parole board, which said it didn't doubt Post's guilt but said there were too many problems with how he was represented 30 years ago.
Post, who weighs 450 pounds, never raised the issue of his size with the board. And Kaisch, who commuted Post's sentence to life with no chance of parole, didn't mention Post's obesity claim in his statement.
The governor said all criminal defendants, regardless of the heinousness of the crimes, deserve an adequate defense
In its Friday decision, the parole board rejected arguments made by Post's attorneys that he deserves mercy because of lingering doubts about his "legal and moral guilt" in a woman's death, but it said it couldn't ignore perceived missteps by his lawyers.
Post was scheduled to die Jan. 16 for killing Elyria motel clerk Helen Vantz in a 1983 robbery.
Earlier coverage of Ronald Post's case begins at the link.
Related posts are in the clemency index.