On September 15th 2011 the prison kitchen in Huntsville Texas prepared it’s last, last meal for Texas death row inmate Lawrence Brewer, one of the three men convicted of the 1998 dragging death of James Byrd Jr. in Jasper Texas. Before Brewer was executed in the Huntsville Unit, he was given his last meal he requested. It consisted of: two chicken-fried steaks with gravy, a triple meat bacon cheeseburger, egg and cheese omelet with ground beef, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers and jalapenos, a bowl of fried okra, one pound of barbecued sliced brisket meat with half a loaf of bread, three fajitas, a meat-lover’s pizza, one pint of Blue Bell Ice Cream Rock Road, some peanut butter fudge and three ice cold root beers. All the food was prepared and delivered to him, however Brewer refused to eat any of it. He was making a mockery of the system. The “last request” so angered State Senator John Whitmire chairman of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee.

Senator Whitmire sent a letter to the executive director of the state prison agency, asking the agency end the practice of last meals or he would get the State Legislature to pass a bill doing so. The executive director for the prison agency, Brad Livingston, responded within hours, informing the Senator that the practice had been terminated, effective immediately, and that death row inmates will now receive the same meal served to all the other inmates in the unit.

Texas Department of Corrections said they do not have the numbers on how much the last meal requests have cost the state in the past. Further stating , that the kitchen staff at Huntsville where executions take place, try to accommodate inmates’ requests “within reason,” using food from the prisons kitchen. All requests are made two weeks prior to the execution.

Do prisoners deserve a last meal or is this Texas Senator right?