Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Modest Meal for Manuel Valle

Convicted cop killer Manuel Valle broke a recent Death Row trend by actually ordering--and eating--a last meal prior to his execution tonight.

Three men executed in various parts of the country last week ate nothing at all, but Valle consumed a modest meal of fried chicken breast, white rice, garlic toast, peach cobbler, and a Coke.

Valle could have enjoyed a far richer meal; Florida allows its Death Row inmates to order almost anything they want, with a generous $40 spending limit.  Steak and lobster are served with a smile here--but since knives are a no-no, the steaks are cut into bite-sized pieces and then reassembled like a meaty jigsaw puzzle before they're presented to the condemned diner.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Lone Starved State: No Last Meals in Texas

Can it be true?  After decades of dishing out huge, meaty, deep-fried dinners, the state of Texas will no longer offer condemned inmates a special last meal prior to their execution.  Instead, they’ll be served the same food as everyone else that day.

The change of policy came one day after convicted killer Lawrence Brewer ordered an enormous multi-course last meal then refused to eat even a single bite of it.  Texas lawmakers decided that last meals for Death Row inmates are a waste of time and money.

To be honest, the Death Row in Texas was never a steak-and-lobster place; inmates could only order food available in the kitchen at the time, so choices were limited.  Cheeseburgers were the most popular item, along with pizza, Mexican food, and fried chicken.  With the exception of the mysteriously popular fried okra, vegetables were rarely requested.  Meals tended to be loaded with calories, stuffed with sodium, and dripping with grease.

But despite the lack of culinary finesse, it’s still hard to imagine Texas Death Row without its last meal program.  After all, executions and last meals go together like guns and bullets or breaking and entering.

I shall recognize the passing of this time-honored tradition in the most appropriate method; through the Japanese art of haiku.

Texas meals are gone;
The double-meat cheeseburger
Now cries ketchup tears

Derrick Mason Declines Last Meal

It's been a busy week for executioners---and a slow week for prison cooks.  Following the current trend, convicted killer and all-around scumbag Derrick Mason did not request a special last meal prior to his execution in Alabama yesterday.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lawrence Brewer: Wasted Life, Wasted Meal

It's rare for a Death Row inmate to order a large, extravagant meal then not touch it, but that's exactly what Lawrence Brewer did before he was executed in Texas yesterday.

Brewer's wasted feast included two chicken fried steaks smothered in gravy with sliced onions, a triple meat bacon cheeseburger with fixings on the side, a cheese omelet with ground beef, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and jalapenos, a large bowl of fried okra with ketchup, one pound of barbecue with half a loaf of white bread, three fajitas with fixings, a meat lovers pizza, three root beers, one pint of Blue Bell vanilla ice cream, and a slab of peanut butter fudge with crushed peanuts.

Troy Davis Declines Last Meal

Troy Davis, the convicted cop killer whose case spawned an international media frenzy, was executed yesterday in Georgia.  Davis didn't order a special last meal, so he was served the prison's "Wednesday special" of a cheeseburger, baked beans, coleslaw, oven-browned potatoes, and a grape drink.  According to witnesses, Davis didn't eat any of it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Steven Woods Orders Meaty Meal

Steven Woods, executed yesterday in Texas, ordered a last meal heavy on the meat and heavy on the nitrates with nary a fruit or vegetable to be found---which is ironic, since Woods claimed to be a vegetarian!  Of course, he also claimed he didn't kill those two people, so...

Woods requested bacon; a large pizza with bacon, sausage, pepperoni, and hamburger; fried chicken breasts; chicken fried steak; hamburgers with bacon on French toast; garlic bread sticks; Mountain Dew, Pepsi, root beer, and sweet tea; and ice cream.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

On the Wait List: Steven Woods

Those busy busboys in Texas are now prepping a table for Steven Woods, slated to be executed tonight.

Woods--who describes himself as a punk rocker, anarchist, Christian, vegetarian, and someone who really likes dragons--has spent most of his time on Death Row complaining about the living conditions in his new home.  According to Woods, the Death Row cells are too small.  The food isn't served warm enough.  The guards call the inmates bad names, which hurts their feelings.  Oh, and there's no arts and crafts program, either.

It's a travesty; all you do is shoot two people to death and cut their throats, and for that you're forced to eat tepid food and you lose your right to make macaroni necklaces and paper bag hand puppets.

You know, a lot of the complaints from Woods--griping about the food, the name-calling, the arts and crafts program--sound like something you would hear from a grumpy preschooler.  And speaking of preschool, maybe Woods was absent the day his teacher explained that the terms "Death Row" and "Luxury Resort" are not synonymous.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Convict Cuisine: Jailhouse Chili

In addition to the last meals of executed criminals, our book also contains popular recipes from prisons across the country.

For those who have always wanted to sample prison food--but without the annoying jail term--here's one of the authentic recipes from our book.


25 pounds of coarsely-ground beef
1/2 pound of cumin
1/4 pound of chili powder
1 & 1/2 ounces of paprika
2 handfuls of crushed dried red chili peppers
1/2 pound of finely chopped garlic

Place all ingredients in a big pot, fill with water, and close the lid tight. Cook 15 minutes on high before stirring. Stir contents and allow them to simmer 30 to 40 more minutes.

Prison chefs supposedly never add more water during the cooking process, but will instead “correct the seasoning to desired strength.” This may require the addition of 2 handfuls of monosodium glutamate “for the desired taste balance.”

Serves roughly 100 people---assuming they survive the first bite!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

On the Wait List: Manuel Valle

Now here’s a conundrum for you. Convicted cop killer Manuel Valle is due to be executed on September 6th after spending 33 years on Death Row.  His lawyers recently fought for a stay of execution on the grounds that keeping Valle in jail for that length of time constituted cruel and unusual punishment. Yet those who oppose the death penalty argue that life in prison is a more humane gesture.

So let me get this straight: executing a killer is cruel…and keeping a killer in jail for a long time is also cruel…and executing a killer too soon—thereby depriving him of adequate time to go through the appeals process—would be considered cruel as well.

Obviously the only way to pacify the anti-death penalty crowd would be to give Valle a soft robe and some comfy bunny slippers, park him in a recliner in front of the TV, then feed him nachos and ice cream sundaes while bikini models fan him with palm fronds. And those folks wonder why no one takes them seriously…