Before being executed for his role in the execrable dragging death of James Byrd Jr. in Jasper in 1998, Lawrence Russell Brewer made the traditional special last meal request from his executioners:
- 2 chicken-fried steaks
- A triple-meat bacon cheeseburger
- Fried okra
- A pound of barbecue
- 3 fajitas
- A pint of ice cream
- A meat lover's pizza
- A slab of peanut butter fudge with crushed peanuts
He ate none of what was offered, according to The Associated Press.
That didn't sit well with Texas Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, according to AP.
Whitmire fired off a letter to prisons director Brad Livingston today saying he wants the "ridiculous" and "inappropriate" practice ended or the Legislature will do it for him.
Livingston complied - ending in Texas for now what's surely one of the more popular (and peculiar) curiosities in American culture.
The Huffington Post recently posted a story and photo gallery of the "strangest, smallest and largest last meal requests." (Ted Bundy, for example, made no special request and was offered the traditional steak and eggs - which he didn't eat.)
Texan Dennis Wayne Bagwell made a request similar to Brewer's before his execution in 2005 - steak, chicken (3 breasts, 3 thighs), barbecue, pound of bacon, dozen eggs, etc. Don't know how much he ate, if any. So did Bobby Wayne Woods, executed in 2009.
There're a bunch of websites on prisoners' last meals, including one called the Dead Man Eating Weblog (which was started in 2002 but hasn't been updated since last year) that understandably includes the last meal requests of lots of Texans.
Nothing too exotic - although one prisoner requested a peppy BLT, berries with whipped cream, french fries, onion rings and a Dr Pepper. Another asked that his last meal not be revealed to the public.
Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh requested 2 pints of mint chocolate chip ice cream, and one guy requested a lump of dirt, supposedly for a ritual. (It was denied.)
In case you were curious ...
-- Tom Uhler, online news editor