HOUSTON, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- Texas death row inmates will no longer get whatever they want for their last meal before being executed, the state's top corrections official said Thursday.
Prisons chief Brad Livingston said effective immediately the last meals will consist of whatever is on the menu for all prisoners at the Walls Unit at the state prison in Huntsville, the Houston Chronicle reported.
The end to the decades-long tradition of allowing condemned inmates one last meal of their own choosing came after state lawmaker John Whitmere became angered about the over-the-top meal Lawrence Russell Brewer ordered before he was put to death Wednesday but never consumed.
"It is extremely inappropriate to give a person sentenced to death such a privilege," Whitmire, chairman of the state Senate Criminal Justice Committee, said in a letter to Livingston. "I have yielded to TDCJ [Texas Department of Criminal Justice] judgment in the past, but now enough is enough."
He threatened to get legislation passed outlawing special last meals if Livingston didn't act.
Brewer ordered fried okra with ketchup, two chicken fried steaks with gravy and onions, and a cheese omelet with ground beef, tomatoes, onions, and bell and jalapeno peppers.
When he didn't eat it, it was discarded, the newspaper said.
"I think it's sad that our elected and appointed leaders are wasting their time talking about menus on death row when we have important issues like potential innocence and the validity of the entire death-penalty system that desperately need to be looked at," Elizabeth Stein, producer of KPFT-FM's Execution Watch, told the Chronicle.
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