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last meal request


Lawrence Brewer’s over-the-top meal, who was executed on Wednesday night for the dragging death of James Byrd, meant the end of the death row intimates last meal requests.

Houston State Senator John Whitmire wrote to the executive director of the Texas Criminal Justice Division saying that he had long opposed the practice, and that “enough is enough.”

Senator Whitmire said the last meal request is an “extremely inappropriate privilege”, one which “the perpetrator did not provide to their victim.”

Before he was executed, the white supremacist Lawrence Brewer ordered an enormous meal containing 3,500 calories.

His last meal consisted of two chicken fried steaks, a triple bacon cheeseburger, a bowl of fried okra, a cheese omelette, barbeque, fajitas, pizza and peanut butter fudge with crushed peanuts.

Lawrence Russell Brewer arriving at court in a bulletproof vest in 1999

Lawrence Russell Brewer arriving at court in a bulletproof vest in 1999

According to Houstonpress.com, executive director Brad Livingston agreed with Senator Whitmire.

“I believe Senator Whitmire’s concerns regarding the practice of allowing death row offenders to choose their last meal are valid.

“Effective immediately, no such accommodations will be made. They will receive the same meal served to other offenders on the unit.”

The 44 year-old Lawrence Brewer, was put to death by lethal injection for his part in the 1998 killing of James Byrd in Jasper, East Texas.

Lawrence Brewer was one of three men convicted of killing James Byrd after they offered him a lift along a remote country road.

James Byrd, 49, was beaten unconscious and urinated upon before being bound to the vehicle by his ankles with a heavy logging chain and driven for three miles.

James Byrd Jr died after being chained to the bumper of a pick-up truck by Lawrence Brewer and two other white supremacists

James Byrd Jr died after being chained to the bumper of a pick-up truck by Lawrence Brewer and two other white supremacists

According to forensic evidence, James Byrd was alive for much of the ordeal but was killed when the vehicle hit a concrete drainage channel causing his head and arm to be ripped from his body.

John William King, 36, was also convicted of capital murder and sent to death row. His case remains under appeal. The third man, Shawn Berry, 36, received a life prison term.

After dumping his remains in an African-American cemetery his killers drove off to a barbeque.

Lawrence Brewer told KFDM in an interview that he participated in the assault on James Byrd but had “nothing to do with the killing as far as dragging him or driving the truck or anything”.

Brewer told also his execution would be a “good out” and he’s “glad it’s about to come to an end”.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice said Lawrence Brewer‘s family was allowed to see him one last time yesterday morning.

Lawrence Brewer was then taken from the Polunsky Unit in Livingston to an isolation cell in Huntsville where the sentence was carried out.

James Byrd’s death led to the “Federal October 22, 2009 Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr Hate Crimes Prevention Act”, commonly known as the “Matthew Shepard Act”.

US President Barack Obama signed the bill into law on October 28, 2009.

The brutal death put Jasper, a typical East Texas town with a Dairy Queen, Walmart and a handful of fast-food places some 60 miles from the nearest interstate highway, under a national spotlight.

“Everywhere you went, anywhere in the country, once people found out you were from Jasper, Texas, they wanted to ask you about it,” said Mike Lout, mayor and the Jasper radio station owner.

“Everybody first was shocked and appalled and not proud of it. They talked about it so much in the days past it, I think most people wanted to put it out of their minds.”

“It’s heartbreaking,” said Billy Rowles, who was sheriff at the time of James Byrd’s murder.

“A lot of effort and hard work and soul-searching went into trying to live down the stereotype. It’s so easy to get back into that mode.”

Lawrence Brewer’s huge last meal had echoes of that enjoyed by Robert Harris in 1992, who killed two teenage boys. Harris had a chicken bucket, two large pizzas, a Pepsi six-pack, jelly beans and Camel cigarettes.

The subject of last meals before execution has thrown up some interesting results over the last few decades, with James Smith being refused a request of dirt in 1990 and instead eating yoghurt.