Texas Senator Says No More Written Last Statement

Barbara Schwarz
April 30, 2019 - 6:17 am
Lethal Injection,

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AUSTIN (1080 KRLD) - A state senator says statements written by condemned inmates will no longer be read, after their deaths, by prison officials.

Avowed white supremacist John William King, who orchestrated the dragging death of James Bryd nearly 21 years ago in Jasper was executed last week. He made no final statement but left a note, which said "Capital Punishment: Them without the capital get the punishment." 

Senator John Whitmire says last words from the gurney are good enough. "I'm just shocked that we accommodate the worst of the worst capital murderers.  Will you read this?  And then he's a smart aleck.  We should not accommodate that behavior.  It was a flippant remark and hurtful to the Byrd family. "

He says spoken final statements are fine. "You ought to follow the procedure and the procedure is going to be do you have any last words, and that is it.  Nothing that he can leave behind that would be hurtful or painful to the family or the people of Texas."

Whitmire persuaded the Texas Department of Criminal justice to end their last meal policy after the actions of another Byrd killer. 

In 2011, Russell Brewer ordered two chicken-fried steaks with gravy and sliced onions; a triple-patty bacon cheeseburger; a cheese omelet with ground beef, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers and jalapeños; a bowl of fried okra with ketchup; one pound of barbecued meat with half a loaf of white bread; three fajitas; a meat-lover’s pizza; one pint of Blue Bell Ice Cream; a slab of peanut-butter fudge with crushed peanuts; and three root beers, but ate nothing. 

Final meals now consist of whatever the prison kitchen is serving that night