Texas inmates who are set to be executed will no longer get their choice of last meals, a change prison officials made last week after a prominent state senator became miffed over an expansive request from a man condemned for a notorious dragging death, according to the Associated Press.
Lawrence Russell Brewer, who was executed on September 21, 2011 for the hate crime slaying of James Byrd Jr. more than a decade ago, asked for two chicken fried steaks, a triple-meat bacon cheeseburger, fried okra, a pound of barbecue, three fajitas, a meat lover's pizza, a pint of ice cream and a slab of peanut butter fudge with crushed peanuts. Prison officials said Brewer didn't eat any of it.
"It is extremely inappropriate to give a person sentenced to death such a privilege," Senator John Whitmire, chairman of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, wrote in a letter to Brad Livingston, the executive director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Within hours, Livingston said the senator's concerns were valid and the practice of allowing death row offenders to choose their final meal would be discontinued.
While extensive, Brewer's request was far from the largest or most bizarre among the 475 Texas inmates put to death, reported the Associated Press.
Last week, prisoner Cleve Foster's request included two fried chickens, French fries and a five-gallon bucket of peaches. He received a reprieve from the U.S. Supreme Court but none of his requested meal. He was on his way back to death row, at a prison about 45 miles east of Huntsville, at the time when his feast would have been served.
The week before, inmate Steven Woods' request included two pounds of bacon, a large four-meat pizza, four fried chicken breasts, two drinks each of Mountain Dew, Pepsi, root beer and sweet tea, two pints of ice cream, five chicken fried steaks, two hamburgers with bacon, fries and a dozen garlic bread sticks with marinara on the side. Two hours later, he was executed.
To read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/texas-prisons-end-special-final-meals-for-those-about-to-be-executed-after-lawmaker-complains/2011/09/23/gIQAVcajpK_story.html