Not so anymore in Texas.
The controversy began after Lawrence Russell Brewer, who was executed on Wednesday for the hate crime slaying of James Byrd Jr. more than a decade ago, asked for two chicken fried steaks, a triple-meat bacon cheeseburger, fried okra, a pound of barbecue, three fajitas, a meat lover's pizza, a pint of ice cream and a slab of peanut butter fudge with crushed peanuts. Prison officials said Brewer didn't eat any of it.
"It is extremely inappropriate to give a person sentenced to death such a privilege," Sen. John Whitmire, chairman of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, wrote in a letter Thursday to Brad Livingston, the executive director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Within hours, Livingston said the senator's concerns were valid and the practice of allowing death row offenders to choose their final meal was history.
"Effective immediately, no such accommodations will be made," Livingston said. "They will receive the same meal served to other offenders on the unit."
That had been the suggestion from Whitmire, who called the traditional request "ridiculous."
It was not immediately clear whether other states have made similar moves. Some limit the final meal cost — Florida's ceiling is $40, according to the Department of Corrections website, with food to be purchased locally. Others, like Texas, which never had a designated dollar limit, mandate meals be prison-made.
While extensive, Brewer's request was far from the largest or most bizarre among the 475 Texas inmates put to death. Last week, inmate Steven Woods' request included two pounds of bacon, a large four-meat pizza, four fried chicken breasts, two drinks each of Mountain Dew, Pepsi, root beer and sweet tea, two pints of ice cream, five chicken fried steaks, two hamburgers with bacon, fries and a dozen garlic bread sticks with marinara on the side. Two hours later, he was executed.
What a dick this guy is, huh? I mean all it takes is one real asshole on death row to ruin it for the rest of us. I bet all the rest of the upstanding citizens on death row are none to pleased about this situation. Probably spent the last 10 years wondering what they were going to order, well that was a complete waste of time. Could've probably spent those 10 years a lot better like digging a fucking tunnel out of that place before you got your dick fried off. Someone telling you that your last meal is the same slop you've been getting is like getting pissed on right before they flip the switch, one last "fuck you!" before you go. Must've really sucked to be the guy on deck right when they took this shit away, oh man. Talk about a depressing execution experience.
And what's with this last meal thing anyway? Looks like you could pretty much order the entire universe if you wanted to. I always imagined this being the hardest decision of all-time, because it was ONE meal. I always pictured something like my mom’s chicken parm or a T-bone steak from Ruth's Chris, not a tub of ice cream with gold sprinkled on top with a side of chicken fries from Burger King, a Shake Shack burger with hot sauce from Taco Bell and 15 Pepsi's and a case of Coors Light and for dessert a cake with a stripper in it. Someone asked me for that shit I'd tell them to go fuck themselves and move the execution time up a couple of hours.
Serious question though, you had one meal to eat before you're dead - what would it be? I'd go with my mom’s chicken parm, have to. That's if she's still cool with me being on death row and shit.