Cooey’s appeal was denied, and he was put to death on Oct. 14. The argument here is that due to Cooey’s excessive weight, the prison staff would be unable to find a good vein. This could then could lead to a longer, slower death for Cooey, which would constitute cruel and unusual punishment.
This execution has been a long time in coming, as Cooey’s crime took place in 1986. At that time, he killed two students who were attending the University of Akron. Cooey and a co-defendant raped and murdered two students.
The co-defendant was only 17, so he received life in prison. Cooey was 20, so he received the death penalty.
It should be noted that Ohio is not particularly well known for having its executions go smoothly. There had not been an execution in the state of Ohio since mid-2007. The inmate was named Christopher Newton, and he was also a big man. There were problems finding veins and putting IVs in his arm. Those problems lead to a delay of his execution for about two hours. There was another similar problem with an execution in 2006.
Along with his obesity claim, Cooey also argued that the state’s use of a three-drug execution cocktail could lead to a slow and painful death. He wanted the state to be forced to use a single drug and asked that his execution be stayed for that reason as well.
The Ohio State Supreme Court didn’t even have to get to the merits (or lack thereof) of these two arguments, as the court decided Cooey and his attorneys had missed the deadline for the filing of appeals.
His last words were: “you (expletive) haven’t paid any attention to anything I’ve said in the last 22 1/2 years, why would anyone pay attention to anything I’ve had to say now?” And that was it.
Family members of one of the victims attended the execution, and they were disappointed that there was no apology forthcoming.