Thursday, July 6, 2017

Finding Nemo's Last Meal

Despite a flurry of protests, convicted killer William Morva was executed by the state of Virginia tonight. Morva earned his death sentence for killing a hospital security guard and a deputy after he escaped from jail while serving time for attempted robbery.

Most of the protests surrounding Morva’s execution were related to his questionable mental health. While incarcerated, Morva was diagnosed as having a personality disorder that manifested in “odd beliefs.” In Morva’s case, that meant going barefoot most of the time, eating pinecones and large quantities of raw meat, and professing that President George W. Bush was plotting his murder. Morva also renounced his legal name at one point, calling it a “slave name,” and went by the name of Nemo instead—although there are few similarities between Morva and the beloved cartoon fish.

As readers of our book already know, Virginia’s last meal tradition is one of the most disappointing in the nation. Inmates may only choose from food available in the prisoner kitchen at the time, and they may also choose to keep their last meal hidden from the press. We’re still trying to find “Nemo’s” last meal, so check back soon for updates! 

Separated at birth, or no similarity whatsoever? You make the call!


  1. Ty, why does Virginia give inmates the option to keep their last meals confidential?

    1. Mr. President! Thank you for pausing your election hacking long enough to visit our web site! And to answer your question, each state sets their own laws regarding their last meal, which is why some states allow a lavish last meal and others are pretty stingy about it. Virginia's last meal laws are strange, because they only allow the condemned person to order food served as part of the normal prison menu, yet they also allow the condemned person to keep their meal secret from the press, as if this is some grand privilege. It's never made sense to me, and I hope they change that law--and start offering better choices in last meal dining!

    2. I know that Idaho also allows inmates to choose last meals from a rotating menu.

    3. I served as a witness to executions in Virginia in the past.

      I asked the then director of communications of the Virginia Department of Corrections about the last meal privacy policy. He said that the offer to withhold the last meal contents was a token courtesy for the condemned. Most of the inmates executed in Virginia have not opted to have their last meal contents kept confidential.

  2. You know everything, Mr. President...including who will win our next election, I bet!