In Texas, Showing A Little Mercy No More

by
Abby Zimet

Inmates facing execution in Texas - which leads the country in state-sanctioned killings - will no longer get their choice of last meal after a state senator complained it was "a privilege the perpetrator did not provide to their victim." The move came after white supremacist Lawrence Brewer ordered a huge meal - 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 - though he didn't eat any of it. Troy Davis, the same night, declined the offer altogether. Sen. John Whitmire, chairman of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee,  called the decades-old tradition "ridiculous. This old boy last night, enough is enough. We're fixing to execute the guy and maybe it makes the system feel good about what they're fixing to do. Kind of hypocritical, you reckon?"

“There are a lot more serious abuses that have gone on in terms of lack of due process in Texas. Inmates would much prefer a last lawyer to a last meal,” said Richard Dieter of the nonprofit Death Penalty Information Center.

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