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Mitchell Rupe, 51; Convicted Killer Found Too Heavy to Hang
From Times Staff and Wire Reports
February 10, 2006
Mitchell Rupe, 51, a former death row inmate once found too obese to execute by hanging, died at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla on Tuesday following a long battle with liver disease, a prison spokeswoman said.
Rupe was convicted on murder charges in the shooting deaths of two female bank tellers during a 1981 robbery in Olympia. Juries twice sentenced him to death, but higher courts overturned the sentences.
After his incarceration, he gained 80 pounds by consuming an average of almost 6,000 calories a day and declining any physical exercise.
In 1994, a federal judge upheld Rupe's conviction but agreed with his contention that because he weighed more than 400 pounds, he was too obese to hang due to the risk of decapitation.
Rupe argued that that would amount to cruel and unusual punishment.
After lethal injection was chosen as the state's main method of execution, prosecutors sought the death penalty a third time. But a jury deadlocked 11-1, failing to meet the unanimous vote needed for execution.
At the time of his death, officials said that Rupe weighed between 260 and 270 pounds.
“We like to say that dependability is more important than ability,” Bill Belichickism....
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Years ago when we had to "shoot a horse" they would dig a large hole then lead the horse up to the side of the hole, several men would stand beside the horse, the Vet would shoot the horse in the head at the same time the men would push the horse into the hole as he started to collapse.
That would have worked with this slob, then they could have covered him with bricks