Saturday, July 23, 2011

Andrew DeYoung Eats Next-To-Last Last Meal

Here's another question we're frequently asked; if an inmate gets a stay of execution after their last meal is served, do they get another last meal before the real execution?  It depends on the timing.  There have been many times when a person was served their last meal then waited weeks or months for their execution following a last-minute appeal.  In most of these cases, a second last meal was allowed.  Not so with Andrew Grant DeYoung, executed in Georgia a few days ago.  DeYoung ate his requested last meal--pizza, bread sticks, vanilla ice cream, strawberry preserves, and grape juice--but then his execution was delayed for 24 hours while various legalities were untangled.  Because the delay was so short, DeYoung wasn't allowed to order another last meal the following day, and he dined on the regular prison fare of chicken and rice, peas, turnip greens, cornbread, a brownie, and tea.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Can a Person Order Anthing They Want for Their Last Meal?

Without a doubt, this is the question we're asked most often.  And the answer is---it depends!  Most people don't realize that each state has its own set of rules regarding the last meal of executed criminals.  In Oklahoma, for example, the last meal must cost less than $15 and can only be ordered from local restaurants; no last meals are cooked in the prison kitchen.  Florida offers a more generous $40 limit, and the prison chef will shop for groceries then prepare the meal himself if the inmate doesn't want take-out.  In Texas, inmates can only choose from food available in the prison kitchen at the time.  And with a $50 spending limit, California seems to offer a very generous last meal---the only catch is, inmates are forced to eat it standing up, wearing only their underwear!  (California prison officials describe this as "eating picnic-style."  It makes us curious about the picnics they've attended.)  For more information, see the "Dining Guide" section of our book! 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Is this Texas or Okra-Homa?

The state of Texas recently executed convicted killer Humberto Leal Garcia, who ordered a last meal of fried chicken, tacos, fried okra, pico de gallo, and two Cokes.  While researching his case, I discovered that several other Texas inmates have also asked for okra in their final meals recently.  What's the deal with this?  Most inmates want food they haven't had in a long time (assuming their state allows it, which Texas doesn't---you can only ask for food that's available in the kitchen), or, at the very least, they throw caution to the wind and order every unhealthy, high-calorie, sugar-packed item on the menu.  The last meal is a time to gorge on triple cheeseburgers, and doughnuts, and French fries, and ice cream, not healthy green vegetables.  And okra isn't even one of those sexy vegetables like grilled eggplant, or butternut squash, or sleek stalks of asparagus drizzled with Hollandaise sauce.  So do the death row inmates in Texas know something I don't?  Do the local strains of okra contain pain-numbing properties?  Can a sturdy okra pod be fashioned into a makeshift key that opens cell doors?  Denizens of the fine state of Texas, I eagerly await your replies!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Casey Anthony Cancels Reservation at the Death Row Diner

The Death Row Diner now has one vacant seat after a jury found Casey Anthony not guilty yesterday.  Some would say that the prosecution just didn't have enough concrete evidence to secure a conviction.  On the other side, some would say that the basis for Anthony's defense was laughably ridiculous.  Others would remark that this jury must have been hand-picked from a group of intergalactic tourists who were visiting Earth on vacation and never expected to be given such an important job---despite their lack of familiarity with our planet's laws and customs.  No matter which side you're on, though, we'll all be left wondering what Casey Anthony might have ordered for her last meal if fate had dealt her the death penalty card. 

Friday, July 1, 2011

This Bible Obviously Never Went to Church

Yesterday, the state of Arizona executed Richard Bible for the murder of a 9-year-old girl.  Despite the fact that the girl's blood was found on his shirt, Bible never confessed to the horrible crime and maintained his innocence til the very end.  Perhaps because the execution took place at 11AM local time, Bible ordered a predictable last meal of fried eggs with melted cheese, gravy with sausage, hash brown potatoes, biscuits, grape jelly, peanut butter, and chocolate milk.

Despite his claim of innocence, Bible had a long history of committing violent crimes.  In other words, this is one Bible you would not want to find in your hotel room!