Texas Senator Wants State to Stop Reading Last Words of Executed
A Texas lawmaker is wanting the state to refrain from publicly reading the last words or statements made by executed inmates.
Last week, John William King was executed for his part in the racially-driven 1998 dragging death of James Byrd Jr. When asked if he had any last words before the lethal injection was administered, King said he didn't, but the prison later read a short statement King prepared,
Capital punishment: them without the capital get the punishment.
Texas State Senator John Whitmire, D-Houston, disagreed with the prison's decision to read the statement after the condemned said he had no final words, telling prison officials,
If a death row inmate has something to say to the public or victims, let him or her say it when they are strapped to the gurney.
As reported by the Star Tribune, Whitmire has successfully changed prison procedures in the past, being the reason prisoners are no longer allowed to select their own final meal, ironically regarding another man put to death for the same murder as King. In 2011, Lawrence Russell Brewer requested for his final meal:
- 2 chicken fried steaks
- a triple-meat bacon cheeseburger
- fried okra
- a pound of barbecue
- three fajitas
- a meat lover's pizza
- a pint of ice cream
- a slab of peanut butter fudge with crushed peanuts
None of which Brewer actually ate.