Not even a last meal
Really. The state of Texas is going to continue killing people and now they won’t even allow them a decent last meal?
The decision came after state Sen. John Whitmire took issue with the meal ordered by Lawrence Russell Brewer, who was executed Wednesday for the infamous dragging death of James Byrd Jr., a black man from East Texas.
Whitmire said he has always disapproved of catering to inmates, but this case seemed especially outrageous. On Thursday, he called the director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and followed up with a letter, recounting Brewer’s meal choice of two chicken fried steaks, a triple meat bacon cheeseburger, a cheese omelet, a large bowl of fried okra, three fajitas, a pint of Blue Bell ice cream, and a pound of barbecue with a half loaf of white bread.
TDCJ Executive Director Brad Livingston responded: “I believe Senator Whitmire’s concerns regarding the practice of allowing death row offenders to choose their last meal are valid. Effective immediately, no such accommodations will be made. They will receive the same meal served to other offenders on the unit.”
Left out of the story is how much Texas spends to kill each inmate on “death row,” $2.3 million. I’m sure that pint of ice cream, even if it was ordered out of spite, broke the budget of Texas. After Brewer’s cheeseburger, I bet Governor Rick Perry said,”Uh oh, can’t run for president now. Texas is broke.”
Maybe we can save money by not feeding “death row” inmates at all on the last day. We could just scourge them and make them carry their own electric chairs into the room.
If we are so concerned about the cost of killing someone on “death row,” the answer is not to deprive him of some last-minute fried okra.The answer is not to kill him in the first place.
But if we are going to continue to kill people in Texas prisons, we can afford a little humanity, right?