Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Kimberly McCarthy Joins the Misfortune 500

Ever since the death penalty was reinstated after a brief moratorium in the mid-1970's, Texas has easily outpaced every other state in the nation when it comes to executions. Tonight, Kimberly McCarthy became the 500th inmate put to death in the Lone Star state since executions resumed--the newest member of the "Misfortune 500," so to speak.

McCarthy earned her death sentence for killing and robbing an elderly neighbor. On the pretense of borrowing a cup of sugar, McCarthy entered the woman's apartment where she stabbed the victim with a butcher knife and bludgeoned her with a candelabra. During the robbery, McCarthy cut off the woman's finger in order to steal her wedding ring.

McCarthy was also suspected in the deaths of two other elderly women. One was stabbed and bludgeoned with a hammer, while the other was stabbed and bludgeoned with a meat tenderizer. Anyone else see a pattern here?

Since Texas no longer allows inmates to place special orders, McCarthy was served the same food as everyone else in her unit. Her last meal was pepper steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, mixed vegetables, white cake with chocolate icing, and a choice of tea, coffee, juice, or water to drink.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Davis Duplicates DeRosa, Disses Dinner

There's something in the air in Oklahoma. For the second time in a week, a death row inmate turned down the chance to order a special last meal. Just like James DeRosa, executed seven days ago, Brian Davis said "thanks but no thanks" to one of those tasty $15-or-under fast food banquets allowed by the state. Davis was convicted of raping and killing his girlfriend's mother 12 years ago, and was DeRosa's cellmate during part of his time on death row. Maybe the two formed a last-minute weight loss pact? Decided to count calories while counting their final days? Promised each other to ban the burgers and forgo the fries?

Here's the difference, though; unlike DeRosa, Davis ate the prison's daily meal before he was executed. This consisted of BBQ bologna, bread, rice, cookies, and lemonade. Not exactly a health-conscious felon's dream feast. And not a good reason to turn down a special last meal--unless that was some really, really good BBQ bologna.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Marshall Gore: Fed But Not Dead

When is a last meal not a last meal? When dinner is served but the execution is cancelled. That's what happened to Marshall Gore, a two-time killer who was due to be executed by the state of Florida today. Instead of a stake in the heart, the viscous murderer got a steak on a plate; a rib-eye, that is, along with a frosty Coke. Gore had already eaten his last meal and was less than an hour away from execution when his lawyers won him a last-minute appeal. Oral arguments are scheduled for later this week, and the execution might still go forward as planned.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

DeRosa Declines Distinct Dinner

Fast food might not be gourmet cuisine, but it sure beats the heck out of prison food. Why, then, would James DeRosa--executed tonight by the state of Oklahoma--fail to order a special last meal? Oklahoma only allows its condemned inmates to order from local fast food restaurants, with a meager $15 spending limit, but DeRosa apparently wasn't hungry. The convicted killer, who was given a death sentence for his part in the robbery and murder of an elderly couple, also had no last words.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Van Poyck Apparently Not Peckish

Our faithful readers already know that Florida serves up one of the best last meals in the country. The state allows a generous $40 spending limit, and the only rule is that the ingredients for the meal must be available at local stores. Steak is allowed. The same with lobster. Appetizers, salad, desserts? No problem. Prison chefs do the shopping then lovingly craft a tasty, succulent last meal for the condemned prisoner. But every once in a while, one of the death row inmates says "thanks but no thanks." Such was the case today before William Van Poyck was executed.

Van Poyck--which is pronounced "Van Poyk," according to countless news reports--so thanks for clearing that up--was convicted as the mastermind of a failed plot to free another inmate who was being transported in a prison van. One of the guards was killed, but Van Poyck always denied pulling the trigger himself and blamed the guard's death on his accomplice.

His final words were "set me free."

Chops for Chester

Sometimes "good" and "bad" are subjective terms. For proof, just look at the last words of Elroy Chester, executed tonight by the state of Texas.

Chester confessed to five killings but was executed for the murder of a fireman which took place during a six-month crime spree that involved rapes, robberies, and multiple homicides. In his last statement, however, Chester announced "Elroy Chester wasn't a bad man. I don't care what anybody says." he then told the execution witnesses, "I'll see you later."

Since Texas did away with special last meal requests in 2011, Chester was served the same food as everyone else in his prison unit. His last meal included baked pork chops, mashed potatoes with gravy, and green beans.