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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Ohio executes Richard Cooey

Originally published Tuesday, October 14, 2008

LUCASVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Ohio on Tuesday executed a 5-foot-7, 267-pound double murderer who argued he was too fat to die humanely by lethal injection, the state’s first execution since the end of an unofficial national moratorium.

Richard Cooey, 41, died at 10:28 a.m. at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville.

There were no immediate reports of problems finding suitable veins to deliver the deadly chemicals, a problem that delayed previous executions in the state.

Cooey’s attorneys had argued that his weight problem would make it difficult for prison staff to access a vein. A prisons spokeswoman said Cooey received a pre-execution exam early Tuesday and was cleared.

Cooey, who killed two University of Akron students in 1986, walked into the death chamber at 10:15 a.m. wearing gray pants and was strapped onto the gurney.

“You (expletive) haven’t paid any attention to anything I’ve said in the last 22 1/2 years, why would anyone pay any attention to anything I’ve had to say now,” Cooey said looking at the ceiling. He made no other comment.

Cooey tapped the fingers of his left hand several times before he died and his face took on a purple shade.

Six family members of one of his victims watched the execution. Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh said the family was disappointed that Cooey was vulgar and hateful at the end.

Cooey was the first inmate executed in Ohio in more than a year, and the state’s first since the end of the unofficial moratorium on executions that began last year while the U.S. Supreme Court reviewed Kentucky’s lethal injection procedure.

Before the moratorium, Ohio had one of the nation’s busiest death chambers.

Cooey lost a final appeal earlier Tuesday when the U.S. Supreme Court turned down without comment his complaint that the state’s protocol for lethal injection could cause an agonizing and painful death. Cooey wanted the state to use a single drug rather than a three-drug combination, and asked for a stay of execution pending a hearing on that motion.

The court on Monday denied a separate appeal based on Cooey’s claim that his obesity was a bar to humane lethal injection. The argument also had been rejected by a federal appeals court in Cincinnati and the Ohio Supreme Court, with both courts ruling that he missed a deadline for filing appeals.

Cooey is 75 pounds heavier than when he went to death row — the result of prison food and 23-hour-a-day confinement, his lawyers said.

They also argued that a migraine medicine prescribed by a prison physician could reduce the effect of the anesthetic used as part of the three-drug lethal injection.

They claimed that Ohio has a history of botched executions.


Please review his crime. From Widipedia:

Richard Wade Cooey II (June 9, 1967 – October 14, 2008) was an American murderer. With Clinton Dickens, he was responsible for the murder of two women in Akron, Ohio, in 1986.

Early on the morning of September 1, 1986, Cooey, Dickens and Kenneth Horonetz, Jr. were throwing chunks of concrete off the Stoner Street Bridge onto U.S. Interstate 77 in Akron. One of the objects dropped by Dickens struck the car of a University of Akron student, Wendy Offredo, age 21. Also in the car was another student, Dawn McCreery, age 20.

Pretending to rescue the two students, the three men kidnapped them. Cooey, then age 19, and Dickens, age 17, took the women to a field where they beat, stabbed, tortured and raped them for three and a half hours, eventually beating them to death and abandoning the bodies.

Cooey and Dickens each blamed the other for the actual murders, Horonetz having left the car before the violence began. Cooey was convicted on November 14, 1986, and subsequently sentenced to death. Dickens, a minor at the time of the murders, could not be sentenced to death under Ohio laws, and as of 2008 is serving a life sentence in prison.

Two other suspects, Terry Grant (age 19) and Kenneth Horonetz, Jr (age 18), were charged with obstruction of justice in the case for participating in the destruction of evidence. Grant was sentenced to two years' probation. Horonetz was released on parole after serving one year of a three-to-seven year prison sentence for felonious assault.

Following a long series of appeals, requests for clemency, and stays of execution, Cooey's final appeal was rejected. He argued that his obesity rendered lethal injection an inhumane form of execution.

However, he was executed at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility at 10:28 AM on October 14, 2008. At his execution, he was asked if he had any final words. Cooey replied "You fucking haven't paid any attention to anything I've said in the last 22 1/2 years, why would anyone pay any attention to anything I've had to say now?"

You are right Richard, just die and stop poisoning the air with your breath...

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