HOUSTON (Associated Press) -- Texas inmates who are set to be executed will no longer get their choice of last meals, a change prison officials made Thursday after a prominent state senator became miffed over an expansive request from a man condemned for a notorious dragging death.
Historical references to a condemned person's last meal go as far back as ancient Greece, China and Rome, Hayes said. Some of it is apparently rooted in superstition about meals warding off possible haunting by condemned people once they are put to death.
Last week, inmate Steven Woods' request included two pounds of bacon, a large four-meat pizza, four fried chicken breasts, two drinks each of Mountain Dew, Pepsi, root beer and sweet tea, two pints of ice cream, five chicken fried steaks, two hamburgers with bacon, fries and a dozen garlic bread sticks with marinara on the side. Two hours later, he was executed.
Until 2003, the Texas prison system listed final meals of each prisoner as part of its death row website. That stopped at 313 final meals after officials said they received complaints from people who found it offensive.
A former inmate cook who made the last meals for prisoners at the Huntsville Unit, where Texas executions are carried out, wrote a cookbook several years ago after he was released. Among his recipes were Gallows Gravy, Rice Rigor Mortis and Old Sparky's Genuine Convict Chili, a nod to the electric chair that once served as the execution method. The book was called "Meals to Die For."
I find ALL of the above very WEIRD. The whole death thing is weird enough for me, but offering them a meal of their choice before they are executed?