US convict who was 'too fat to execute' dies in jail

This undated file photo provided by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections shows death row inmate Ronald Post. Post, who spent 28 years on death row for the 1983 killing of a hotel worker, had been due to die by lethal injection i
This undated file photo provided by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections shows death row inmate Ronald Post. Post, who spent 28 years on death row for the 1983 killing of a hotel worker, had been due to die by lethal injection in January. -- FILE PHOTO: AP

WASHINGTON, District of Columbia (AFP) - A 220kg convicted murderer who escaped execution after his lawyers argued he was too fat to be put to death has died in prison, authorities in Ohio confirmed on Friday.

Ronald Post, who spent 28 years on death row for the 1983 killing of a hotel worker, had been due to die by lethal injection in January.

But he won a reprieve in December last year after his lawyers filed a motion arguing that a lethal injection would be "torturous and lingering" due to his enormous size.

Post's lawyers had argued that such an injection could take up to 16 hours to work.

A spokesman for the Ohio prison service confirmed on Friday that Post had died in a prison hospital in Columbus on Thursday.

"His death was expected," the spokesman told AFP, adding that his health had deteriorated.

Post's death penalty was commuted to life in prisonment without the possibility of parole after Ohio Governor John Kasich ruled he had not received a good enough defence at his trial.

Kasich did not refer to Post's weight when he announced last December that the prisoner's execution would not go ahead.

"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," Kasich said at the time.

But Kasich did not pardon Post nor call for a retrial.

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