Bill proposes rules on 'last meal' for condemned prisoner | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Bill proposes rules on 'last meal' for condemned prisoner

Posted By on Wed, Feb 20, 2019 at 11:53 AM

click to enlarge Rep. Rebecca Petty - BRIAN CHILSON
  • Brian Chilson
  • Rep. Rebecca Petty

State Rep. Rebecca Petty
(R-Rogers) filed a bill today to place specific limits on the last meal for people about to be executed.

Her bill says;

The last meal of an inmate to be executed shall be prepared by the Department of Correction from existing foodstuffs at the particular facility housing the inmate and is limited to the same food choices a general population inmate at that facility has available to him or her on the date of the execution.
Petty has made capital punishment a special interest during her time in the legislature as a result of the slaying of her daughter by a relative.

Newsweek, in reporting on last meals of four executed Arkansas prisoners, killed over a week in 2017, said this about Arkansas practices:

The Arkansas Department of Correction spokesman tells Newsweek that the department does not contract out any of its food production, meaning its facilities cook last meals in-house. “All meals were prepared in the unit kitchen or taken in part from the unit commissary,” the spokesman said by email.
I've asked Petty her objective and whether it would change existing procedure, but haven't heard back. Newsweek offered this explanation for the last-meal custom, which varies from state to state.

“The concept of a last meal is supposed to represent an acknowledgment of the inherent dignity of the person who’s being executed,” says Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, a nonprofit that tracks issues related to capital punishment. “It is part of a tradition of showing some form of respect for the individual’s humanity while symbolically indicating that you are about to end the person’s life.” Despite the symbolism, he says, “it is not an exercise of mercy. It is not a favor.”

Newsweek detailed last meals for four Arkansas inmates killed in 2017, all for murders and related crimes. Ledell Lee chose communion instead of a final meal, which is not unusual on Death Row. Marcel Williams had three pieces of fried chicken breast, fried potato wedges and ketchup, nacho chips with chili and cheese sauce, jalapenos, banana pudding, ice cream and two Mountain Dews. Jack Jones had three chicken breasts, potatoes, sliced cheese, beef jerky, three Butterfinger candy bars, tartar sauce, two cups of punch and a chocolate shake with Butterfinger crunch. Kenneth Williams, the last person to be executed in Arkansas, also chose communion over a final meal.

 

Tags: , , , ,


Favorite

Comments (19)

Showing 1-19 of 19

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-19 of 19

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Beware of legislators bearing term limits

    Michael Wickline at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette today reports on Sen. Alan Clark's grand plan to give Arkansas a different term limits amendment than the 10-year limit Arkansas Term Limits hopes to qualify for the 2020 ballot. Beware the fine print.
    • Mar 24, 2019
  • The open line, plus a food note

    Here's the open line, plus a neighborhood food note.
    • Mar 23, 2019
  • Little Rock prepares to commit to I-30 project, though its scope remains unclear

    Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott's take-charge approach surfaces this morning on a bigger issue than media policy — negotiations between the city and the Arkansas Department of Transportation on an agreement concerning the Big Concrete Ditch project through the heart of Little Rock.
    • Mar 23, 2019
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Sabin's subterfuge in the race for mayor has roots in rigged city government

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that an ethics complaint has been filed saying that the exploratory committee Rep. Warwick Sabin created to prepare for a run for Little Rock mayor was a subterfuge to avoid the city ordinance that doesn't allow campaign fundraising to begin until five months before the November 2018 election.Of course it is.
    • Aug 10, 2017
  • Use of solar on the rise in Arkansas

    With a pivotal ruling expected any day now from the Public Service Commission, Kyle Massey at Arkansas Business reports on the increase in Arkansans adding solar generation units on their homes and business.
    • Apr 13, 2018
  • Antwan Phillips wants to make a difference in reducing Little Rock violence

    KARK/Fox 16's push to do something about Little Rock violence includes a spotlight on people trying to make a difference — in this episode Antwan Phillips, a lawyer at Wright, Lindsey and Jennings.
    • Aug 30, 2017

Slideshows

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: A parent defends Haas Hall charter school

    • My name is Lillian Taylor and I am a senior at HH Fayetteville. Several people…

    • on March 24, 2019
  • Re: The open line, plus a food note

    • Latest from David A. Fahrenthold Trumps legal troubles are far from over even as Mueller…

    • on March 24, 2019
  • Re: The open line, plus a food note

    • absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. strategically, having the core of spanky's transgressions…

    • on March 24, 2019
 

© 2019 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation