Wednesday 1 February 2012

Death row - the last last meal

I promise I won't keep banging on about this, but I thought I'd post this as (a) it shows just how little feeling the state of Texas has for its death row inmates and (b) (perhaps hearteningly) that even at the end some people manage to have enough humour left to take the p*** out of the system! (This prisoner was executed last autumn.)

State prison officials decided on Thursday to end the practice of giving last meals to inmates about to be executed, their decision coming the day after they honored an elaborate meal request from Lawrence Russell Brewer, one of the men convicted in the 1998 racially motivated dragging death of James Byrd Jr. in Jasper.

Before Mr. Brewer was executed by lethal injection in the Huntsville Unit on Wednesday, he was given the last meal of his request: two chicken-fried steaks with gravy and sliced onions; a triple-patty bacon cheeseburger; a cheese omelet with ground beef, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers and jalapeƱos; a bowl of fried okra with ketchup; one pound of barbecued meat with half a loaf of white bread; three fajitas; a meat-lover’s pizza; one pint of Blue Bell Ice Cream; a slab of peanut-butter fudge with crushed peanuts; and three root beers.

The meal outraged State Senator John Whitmire, a Houston Democrat and chairman of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee. In a phone call and letter to the executive director of the state prison agency, Mr. Whitmire asked that the agency end the practice of last meals or he would get the State Legislature to pass a bill doing so.


  1. Yeah, what a poor use of precious prison funds. This whole subject is so depressing and meanspirited but I think you should keep hammering away. I took the first step of contacting Nichola Glasse.

  2. This whole execution business is so bizarre. Thank goodness we stopped it here fifty years ago and I am sure our crime rate has not soared since.
    The US has a real problem with internal human rights. It has the most violent democratic society in the world, the most billionaires, the most people on food stamps, the most people incarcerated as a percentage of population and executes more people than even China.
    I could go on, but America is an enigma. It produces the best and the worst of everything. It preaches freedom of speech but comes down hard on anyone who does not agree with the official line.
    There are towns where people wear side arms all the time but what for? Do they intend to use them? If so in what circumstances? If the answer is for self protection, are we to believe any intending mugger would be unarmed?
    One comment on my blog claimed 'an armed society is a polite socfiety'.
    I think it is possible, and more likely to find real politeness where one's neighbour is not carrying the means to kill you!
    Keep hammering away.

  3. Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Stafford Ray.