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Texas To End ‘Last Meal’ Ritual

 Undocumented immigrants "brunch" in the Maricopa County "Tent City Jail"
(John Moore/Getty Images)

In the past it was customary to offer a prisoner on death row a “Last Meal” or as it’s been called before, a “special meal.”  That practice has been put to a stop in Texas after a large meal was ordered recently and not touched.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice Executive Director Brad Livingston has decided to stop the program after Senator John Whitmire came forward with concerns about it.

Whitmire has had a problem with the practice for a long time but decided to come forward after Lawrence Russell Brewer (who was executed on Wednesday for a hate crime) ordered 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.  He received his meal.  He never touched it.  It went completely uneaten.

“It is extremely inappropriate to give a person sentenced to death such a privilege,” Sen. John Whitmire, chairman of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee

So Why Do States Do It?

According to Wikipedia, the practice goes back to the ancient Greeks, Chinese, and Romans who all also gave condemned men a final meal.  They used to do it to prevent the souls from coming back to haunt the jailers.  It was a measure of good will to kind of balance things out.

Texas has immediately put a stop to the practice.

[Huffington Post]

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