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American man too fat for execution

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An American death row inmate claims he's too fat for execution.

With a lawsuit filed in federal court on Friday, the Associated Press reports, attorneys for the 5-feet-7-inch, 267-pound Richard Cooey say the executioner's needle would have trouble finding his veins. And even if it did find his veins, they insist, his heft would lessen the effect of the needle's initial lethal injection drug - an anesthetic meant to dull the pain.

"All of the experts agree if the first drug doesn't work, the execution is going to be excruciating," Cooey's lawyer Kelly Culshaw Schneider told The AP.

The suit says that Cooey is taking medication for migraine headaches. Considering his beefiness, lawyers argue, this medication could neutralize the anesthetic, and that means Cooey would be less than asleep when executioners administer the two other lethal injection drugs - which are actually lethal.

Richard Cooey was sentenced to death for raping and murdering two women in 1986. If he's not too fat, he will face execution on October 14. He was originally scheduled for execution in 2003, when he wasn't as fat, but he received one of those last minute reprieves. ®

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