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Death Row Inmates In Texas No Longer Get A Last Meal Because Of One Man

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Death Row Inmates In Texas No Longer Get A Last Meal Because Of One Man

No death row prisoners in the US state of Texas receive a bespoke last meal before they are executed anymore, because one inmate ordered an absolutely mammoth last meal and refused to eat a bite of it because he said he wasn't hungry.

The idea of the last meal is one of the most intriguing and macabre parts about the whole US justice system.

Imagine having to sit down and choose a menu that would be suitable for your last ever food on this earth.

Where would you even start?

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Well, you can forget about most of it, to begin with.

Huntsville Unit, Texas State Penitentiary. Credit: Nick DiFonzo/Wikimedia Commons
Huntsville Unit, Texas State Penitentiary. Credit: Nick DiFonzo/Wikimedia Commons

It's well documented that they often can't - or won't - get in the food that most people demand, meaning they have to get a substitute or just go without.

That means no fillet steak, no bluefin tuna and no foie gras.

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However, in Texas, you don't get anything at all. Just the grub that all the other prisoners are being served that day.

The inmates facing death have only Lawrence Russell Brewer to thank for that.

Lawrence Brewer. Credit: Jasper Newsboy/Shutterstock
Lawrence Brewer. Credit: Jasper Newsboy/Shutterstock

Brewer was a white supremacist murderer who was jailed alongside three other men for killing James Byrd Jr. by dragging him along behind a pick-up truck for three miles along a road.

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Brewer and accomplice John King were the first white men to receive the death penalty for killing a black man in modern Texas, and their atrocities prompted the state to introduce new laws surrounding hate crimes.

Another accomplice, Shawn Berry, was sentenced to life imprisonment for the crime.

Before Brewer's execution, he was asked what he would like to eat as his last meal, and his request was an absolutely enormous amount of food.

According to a report from the time published in the Houston Chronicle, Brewer asked for a bowl of fried okra with ketchup, two chicken steaks with gravy and onions, and a cheese omelette with ground beef, jalapenos and bell peppers.

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On top of that, he wanted: "A triple-meat bacon cheeseburger, three fajitas, one pound of barbecue and a half loaf of white bread, pizza meat lover's special, one pint of 'homemade vanilla' Blue Bell ice cream, one slab of peanut butter fudge with crushed peanuts and three root beers."

Then, when the meal - or an approximation of it - was placed before him, he refused to eat any of it.

John King (front) and Lawrence Brewer. Credit: David J Phillip/AP/Shutterstock
John King (front) and Lawrence Brewer. Credit: David J Phillip/AP/Shutterstock

That prompted Texas senator John Whitmire to end the 87-year-old tradition of offering a last meal choice to condemned inmates.

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Effective immediately, everyone on death row would eat what everyone else ate.

As for Brewer, he proved himself a horrible man to the last. On the day before his execution, even after James Byrd's family had asked for his life to be spared, he told KHOU 11 News: "As far as any regrets, no, I have no regrets.

"No, I'd do it all over again, to tell you the truth."

Featured Image Credit: Pat Sullivan/AP/Shutterstock

Topics: Food, Food And Drink, US News, crime, Weird, Prison

Tom Wood
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