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551 pound convict's house arrest: Morbidly obese Fla. man appeals sentence

 A man with a large belly eats junk food on May 23, 2013 in Leipzig, Germany.
A man with a large belly eats junk food on May 23, 2013 in Leipzig, Germany.
Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Being morbidly obese saved a former Fla. man from incarceration, but now the 551-pound convict on house arrest wants the balance of his sentence dismissed. According to a July 27 CNN report, the former pharmacist convicted in a 40 million illegal prescription scheme, wants the terms of his home confinement excused due to health reasons. Reportedly facing a terminal illness, the convicted man says the house arrest sentence is unnecessary.

Steven Goodman, 70, a former pharmacist was busted for running an illegal pill mill operation two years ago. Prosecutors say the man supplied pain management clinics millions of oxycodone medication for illegal distribution. After his arrest, a federal judge sentenced Goodman to 30 months of house arrest in lieu of a sentence behind bars. His reasoning: at 551-pounds, the man couldn't fit -- literally -- in jail.

The 551-pound convict, who is allowed to leave his home for religious reasons, wants the remaining seven months removed. According to his doctor, the man is suffering from a heart ailment and incurable lymph disease.

Goodman's attorney, Edward Page, wrote a 10-page request to the court pleading for the man's release. In it he said this:

Each day may be one of his last."

However, U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra wasn't convinced of the man's argument and remanded the obese man on house arrest.

Defendant was spared a prison sentence, not as a favor to him, but in order to spare the Bureau of Prisons the burden of having to care for him. If defendant's health and obesity effectively confines him to his home, then continuation of that restriction will not adversely affect him," wrote Judge Marra who denied Goodman's appeal.

The story of the 551-pound Florida convict's house arrest, conjures up memories of another case two years ago involving Ronald Post. Then, the death row inmate convicted of killing a mother of three over $100 cash and a TV, asked a judge to set aside his sentence. He and his attorney argued that the man, who ate his way to 481 pounds behind bars, is too fat to be executed. His reasoning: capital punishment would result in a '"torturous, lingering death.’"

Should the former pharmacist be released for compassionate reasons?

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