Thursday, September 22, 2011
Whitmire to TDCJ - no more last meal requests for death row inmates
After today, Texas death row inmates facing execution will no longer be able to choose their last meal. For at least a century, death row inmates have been able to request cheese burgers and fries, chicken fried steak with gravy, peach cobbler, pies, cakes, breakfast or whatever they wanted in their final hours of life. Yesterday inmate Lawrence Russell Brewer was executed for his part in the Jasper dragging death of James Byrd. The crime became news all over the world after the only motive for the crime was that Byrd was black.
Brewer ordered a vast array of dishes for his last meal, but at the last moment, lost his appetite and the food went untouched. Senator John Whitmire, who heads the Texas Senate Committee on Criminal Justice says that enough is enough with last meal service and wrote a letter to TDCJ Director Brad Livingston detailing his issues with the process. Livingston answered by halting the meal request procedure, and issuing orders that whatever meal the rest of the inmate population eat that day is what meal the condemned will eat as well. The process of offering a final meal to Texas death row inmates goes back at least a century some say.
see the letter below...