After posting about the new coffee table book that lists 50 chefs’ fantasy final meals, it was brought to my attention that the Texas Department of Criminal Justice has a website that tracked the final meals of inmates on death row from 1982 to 2003.
It’s hard to understand why this site would exist, and—especially for those of us who disagree with the death penalty—it’s very depressing. But at the same time, it’s so fascinating that it’s difficult not to read through each criminal’s final meal and the crimes that brought him or her to death row. This is the final meal of a man convicted of shooting four people at close range while robbing a Taco Bell:
Pizza (beef, bacon bits, and multiple types of cheese), 10 quesadillas (5 mozzarella cheese, 5 cheddar cheese), 5 strips of open-flame grilled beef, 5 strips of stir-fried beef, chocolate peanut butter ice cream, sweet tea, double fudge chocolate cake, broccoli, and grapes
Some prisoners asked for lighter fare—like an apple or a yogurt—but perhaps the most peculiar choice of all was a 2001 request for “1 bag of assorted Jolly Ranchers.” One sad possibility is that the bag of sucking candies was chosen because it would take a long time to consume.