Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Nebraska Files (Your Death Row Meal)

So there I am, sitting by the Missourri River with my son in law J.R. watching the paddleboat he got married on glide past us.

We are sampling different salsas from the contestants at the Nebraska Chili Cook Off, and somehow, somebody, maybe J.R. or one of the cooks throws out the question that asks what would be your last meal if you were on death row?

I think we've Blogged about this in the past right?

Mine, w/o question would be BBQ pork ribs, cottage cheese and canned green peas, with a pepper shaker, bottle of Johnny Walker Red and one Lucky Strike.

But now J.R. interupts the peeps engaged in this conversation and says.....

"Down in Texas, they just passed a law where you no longer get a last meal. Some skinhead guy ruined it for everybody by ordering tons, and tons of food, and then the part that pissed people off, was after they cooked it. He wouldn't eat a bite."

When I returned home several days later, I was curious to find out more about this so I Googled the topic and found an interesting version of this story in the L.A. Times. The following is an excerpt.....

Texas ends 'last meals' for death row inmates

September 23, 2011

Texas stopped serving so-called last meals to death row inmates this week after a state lawmaker complained about an inmate request he considered excessive.

The furor arose after Lawrence Brewer, 44, a convicted murderer and self-described white supremacist, requested a last meal that included: two chicken-fried steaks with gravy and sliced onions; a triple-patty bacon cheeseburger; a cheese omelet with ground beef, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers and jalapeƱos; a bowl of fried okra with ketchup; one pound of barbecued meat with half a loaf of white bread; three fajitas; a meat-lover’s pizza; one pint of Blue Bell Ice Cream; a slab of peanut-butter fudge with crushed peanuts; and three root beers.

Brewer had been condemned to die for the 1998 dragging death of James Byrd Jr. in the East Texas town of Jasper; the slaying drew international attention and led to state and federal hate-crimes legislation.

The meal was prepared at the prison kitchen at the Huntsville Unit where Brewer was being held and served shortly before he was executed Wednesday. Brewer chose not to eat it, prison officials said.

State Sen. John Whitmire, a Houston Democrat, was outraged at the meal request, which he considered outlandish. On Thursday, he shot off a letter to Brad Livingston, executive director of the state prison agency, demanding that prison workers stop preparing special last meals.

“He is a bad person who I don’t believe the state should be giving special conditions,” Whitmire said of Brewer in a Friday interview with The Times.

Whitmire said he has long disapproved of Texas' special “death row menu." The fact that Brewer didn't eat it “compounded everything,” Whitmire added, showing that the condemned man had “manipulated the system” by ordering “more food than a family of four can eat in a week.”

“The only regret that I have is that I should have done this sooner,” Whitmire said. “I think someone should be disciplined, quite frankly. Why didn’t somebody stop the nonsense?”

End of excerpt -

About a year ago, another occurence took place that drew some attention to "Famous Last Meals" on death row.

There was this cat named Eddie Duval Powell (ever notice when listing criminals, they always post 3 names) who was 41 years old.

Eddie was executed by lethal injection in Alabama for the raping and murdering a 70-year-old woman in 1995 (as reportered by Reuters.)

His "Last Supper" was sandwiches,Frito's and pop from the vending machine down the hall.

How lame is that?

Then what about that guy James Edwards Smith,dude was "put down" on June 26,1990 for a robbery and murder. This was another Texas crime BTW.

However.....Smith didn't want a meal, instead he whined for a lump of dirt for a Voodoo ritual, but dirt was not an approved list of prison foods, so his request was denied.

He scarfed down a tiny yogurt cup instead LOL.

Remeber Timothy McVeigh?

The guy who was responsible for the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1996 that killed 168 people.

They shut his window via lethal injection in Indiana on June 11 / 2001.

His final request was a little unusual, but Sue McGleno most certainly endorse his choice... two pints of mint chocolate chip ice cream.

Remember what's his head? Philip Workman...... he was that guy convicted of killing a police officer after bungling a robbery at a Wendy's restaurant in Tennessee.

Workman got the kabosh on his last meal request when he asked for a large vegetarian pizza be given to a homeless person in Nashville.

Prison admin denied this request, but homeless shelters across the state received pizzas from all over the country honoring his last request.

None of these stories should "crack me up" but I'd be a "Nose as long as a telephone wire" if I didn't confess i giggled when reading about Ronnie Lee Gardner.

Gardner was already on trial for snuffing one guy, but then he fatally shot an attorney in an failed attempt to escape.

On June 18 2010, dude got taken out by a firing squad in Utah.

You don't see alot of firing squad executions anymore.

But the intresting thing about Gardners story is not just his meal request...steak, lobster tail,apple pie, vanilla ice cream and 7-Up, but the guy got to spend his last hours of life watching the Lord of thr Rings trilogy.


You want to go out of this world with Hobbits on your mind?

Not me...I would so watch old Project Runway episodes so I could get one last fix of Heidi Klum, but that's me.

I think that if I had to get killed publicly,the firing squad is the way to go. It might be more romantic to smoke a cig, refuse the blindfold, and then have a bunch of French Foreign Legion guys unload caps into me, however it would hurt more than the needle huh.

Just the other night Sue McGleno and I were rifling through TV stations, and when I passed by Turner Classic Network, they were just finishing up "Bonnie & Clyde", the version with Warren Beatty and Fay Dunaway....OMG she was smoking hot huh?

Remember how the sherrif and his boys camped out in the shrubs with maching runs and they put about 1000 holes into America's favorite boy-girl bank robbing tandem.

They just kept flopping, and flopping around.

They went out looking like fish on the bottom of the boat, or puppets held by some clod with greasy hands.

Then last but not least, on my list....

John Wayne Gacy.

That freak got a lethal injection from the State of Illinois on May 10, 1994 for the rape and murders of 33 young men and boys from 1972 to 1978.

Remeber how the media used to call him "Killer Clown"?

His last meal included: a dozen deep-fried shrimp, a bucket of original recipe chicken from KFC, French fries, and a pound of strawberries.

As much of a sick puppy as that guy was, you gotta give props when props are due.

Dude went out with "Original Recipe" instead of shedding his mortal coil with "Extra Crispy" in his bowels.


So now somebody in our conversation concerning food and death throws out the question......

"Does anybody know what meal is actually the most popular for a final death row meal?

I mean does anybody keep statistics on stuff like that?"

That's when my son in law impressed me.

J.R. responded by informing us that it wasn't even close, hamburgers and french fries topped the list.

For a mechanic, the kid knows alot about booze and food, maybe too much..LOL, but then again, none of us verified his claim, but then I began to think that if he just bullsh****** his answer to be cool, well maybe I'd even like him better.

But once again, when I got home...I just had to know, so I asked Google and Google said he was correct.

And as you know....Google never lies.

Good work J.R.

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