Criminal Justice

Texas Death Row Inmates Will No Longer Get Special Last Meals

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Texas has eliminated special last meals for death-row inmates after one prisoner’s huge food request brought criticism from a state lawmaker.

Lawrence Russell Brewer was executed on Wednesday without touching his last meal, the Associated Press reports. His food request included two chicken fried steaks, a triple bacon cheeseburger, a pound of barbecue, three fajitas, a pint of ice cream, a pizza and peanut butter fudge.

State Sen. John Whitmire said Thursday he would seek legislation to end last meals unless prison officials stopped providing the special food. Prisons director Brad Livingston responded with an announcement that he’s putting an immediate end to the practice.

According to the AP story, Brewer’s request may have been extensive, but it was not the largest or most bizarre. Two years ago, one Texas inmate requested dirt for his final meal.

It’s a moot point now, but the Dallas Morning News blog The Scoop points out that last meal requests weren’t always satisfied. The prison kitchen used food that was on hand that was the closest thing possible to the menu requested. Huge food requests were also trimmed down to reasonable portions.

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