Slate had an interesting story yesterday about the last meals of death row inmates in anticipation of convicted “Beltway Sniper” John Allen Muhammad’s execution last night in Virginia. (Muhammad chose not to reveal his last meal to the public.)
The Slate story provided links to the Web site of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, which posted the final meals requested by offenders until 2004, and continues to post their final statements. Psalm 23 appeared to be a popular choice judging by a random sample. (Muhammad “ignored a request” to make a final statement, according to news reports.)
The Texas sites are eerie and chilling. Delbert Teague Jr., for example, was executed in 1998 for murdering a Fort Worth man in 1985. He did not request a final meal, but at the “last minute he decided to eat a hamburger at his mother’s request,” according to records. His last statement was as follows:
I have come here today to die, not make speeches. Today is a good day for dying.
Est Sularus Oth Mithas (My Honor Is My Life).
As someone commented on the Slate story, “there is something disgustingly voyeuristic about it all.”