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Texas Prisons End The Practice Of Special ‘Last Meals’ For Inmates

The practice of special ‘last meals’ for inmates on death row has been quietly debated for years and Texas has announced the practice will stop immediately. The change was prompted by a Texas Senator who was pretty miffed over an expensive meal request from a man awaiting execution for a notorious dragging death. Lawrence Russell Brewer was convicted and sentenced to death for the ‘hate crime’ death of James Byrd Jr. more than a decade ago and on Wednesday, Brewer was executed for that crime. Brewer’s last meal request was two chicken fried steaks, a triple-meat bacon cheeseburger, fried okra, a pound of barbeque, three fajitas, a meat lover’s pizza, a pint of ice cream and a slab of peanut butter fudge with crushed peanuts. Prison officials obliged the request, but Brewer did not eat any of it which sent Sen. John Whitmire, chairman of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee over the edge. Whitmire sent a letter to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice saying, “it is extremely inappropriate to give a person sentenced to death such a privilege.”

  Within hours of receiving the letter, the ‘last meal’ practice was stopped. Whitmire went on to say that “Mr. Byrd didn’t get to choose his last meal. The whole deal is so illogical.” It is unknown how many other states have or will make similar moves, but in Florida for example, there is a $40 ceiling on last meal requests and the food has to be purchased locally. The debate has really begun to heat up with other politicians agreeing the practice should be stopped. Only time will tell what will happen, but the article on aol.com is very interesting and can be read here. What do you think?

Texas death chamber
Joe Raedle / Getty Images

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