Wednesday, April 24, 2019

King Eats Like a Peasant

Convicted killer John William King was executed by the state of Texas tonight. King whole-heartedly earned his death sentence for his part in the murder of James Byrd Jr in 1998. Byrd was chained behind a truck and dragged several miles to his death.

Once upon a time, Texas allowed its death row inmates to pick their last meal from foods available in the prison kitchen at the time. There were no limits on the meals, other than the fact that the food needed to be items normally stocked in the prison pantry. Ironically, though, that tradition ended after the 2011 execution of John King's partner in crime, Lawrence Brewer. Prior to his execution for his part in Byrd's dragging death, Brewer ordered a huge last meal consisting of enough food to feed an army. Once the feast arrived, however, Brewer didn't eat one bite of it. Texas lawmakers were so angry that they did away with the last meal tradition then and there.

Because Texas no longer allows last meal requests, King was served the same food as others in his unit today. For his last meal, John King had spaghetti with beef sauce, a baked pork chop, steamed rice with brown gravy, mixed vegetables, green beans, corn, pinto beans, corn bread, garlic bread, and a choice of water, tea, or punch to drink.  

Friday, March 1, 2019

Clowning and Chaos at Coble Killing

Convicted murderer Billie Wayne Coble was executed by the state of Texas last night, but his lethal injection was far from ordinary.

Coble earned his death sentence for killing his in-laws and their son, a former police sergeant, during a days-long fight with his estranged wife regarding their impending divorce. 

Moments before his death, Coble joked with bystanders and said, "That'll be $5." But the mood in the witness area wasn't light at all as a fight broke out between Coble's relatives and others who were there to observe the execution. Coble's son and grandson were arrested after shouting obscenities and punching other members of the execution audience.

Because Texas no longer allows special last meal requests, Coble was given the same food as others in his unit. For his last meal, Coble was served scrambled eggs, oven-fried potatoes, biscuits, country gravy, mixed fruit, grape jelly, catsup, baked chicken, macaroni and cheese, sweet peas, pinto beans, and sliced bread, with a choice of water, tea, or punch to drink.