The suicide bomber ordered his last meal - ending an 87-year-old tradition in Texas (3 photos)

20 November 2023

In US prisons, there is a long-standing tradition that a person sentenced to death can choose what he wants to eat for the last time. Within reason, but still. Each state has its own rules regarding this ritual. However, as of September 2011, the state of Texas abolished the tradition of the “delicious last meal”, and it was because of one man.

In Texas, prisoners no longer leave this world with a belly full of their favorite food - and for that they have Lawrence Russell Brewer, who with his last meal angered the administration so much that they abolished this privilege for everyone on death row.

Brewer, 44, was a white supremacist killer imprisoned with three others for the gruesome murder of James Byrd Jr. They dragged the victim behind a pickup truck three miles down the road.

Lawrence Russell Brewer was executed for the murder of James Byrd Jr.

Brewer and his accomplice John King became the first white men to receive the death penalty for killing a black man in modern-day Texas, and their atrocities prompted the state to pass new hate crime laws.

Another accomplice, Sean Berry, was sentenced to life in prison for the crime.

Before Brewer was executed on September 21, 2011, he was asked what he would like to eat as his last meal.

Brewer decided to indulge himself one last time and ordered a bowl of fried okra with ketchup, two chicken steaks with gravy and onions, and a cheese omelet with ground beef, jalapenos and bell peppers.

But that is not all. Additionally, he requested a three-meat bacon cheeseburger, three fajitas, a pound of barbecue and half a loaf of white bread, a meat pizza, a pint of Blue Bell vanilla ice cream, one bar of crushed peanut butter fudge, and three cans of beer.

An 87-year-old tradition was canceled in Texas because of Brewer.

But when the dishes from his order were placed in front of him, the killer refused to eat. He said he was not hungry and all the food from Death Row was thrown into the trash.

Texas Senator John Whitmire did not take the extravagance easy. He asked state prison officials to end the nearly 90-year tradition of offering inmates their choice of last meal.

As for Brewer, he showed no remorse. The day before his execution, even after James Byrd's family asked for his life to be spared, he told KHOU 11 News: “As far as any regrets, no, I don't regret anything. No, the truth is, I would do it all over again."

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