The Colorado Department of Corrections has announced this morning that it had declined a prisoner’s last meal request for the first time in its history after an inmate demanded to be served a “fattened live cat”.
47-year Jason Dunlop was executed last night at the Colorado State Penitentiary for killing and eating a couple of hitchhikers in the city of Greeley in 2007.
According to the penitentiary tradition respected by most American states, he was offered a last meal of his choice.
Correctional officer Ramon Sanchez says he was totally shocked when he collected the paper on which Mr. Dunlop had written his request.
“He had simply written “a big fat live cat and a 12-pack of beer.” I thought he was kidding at first and was totally shocked when I realized he was serious.”
Officer Sanchez explained to the inmate that there are rules concerning last meals and that those rules prohibit tobacco and alcohol.
He also explained that the food must be purchased locally for a cost of less than $40 and that any unorthodox or unavailable requests would be replaced with substitutes.
“He told us he didn’t mind skipping the beer, but he insisted that we could certainly find a stray cat in a shelter for less than 40$ or substitute it for a dog.”
Unsurprisingly, Mr. Dunlop’s request was declined and he was served two slices of a cheese pizza, a chocolate bar and a cup of black coffee from the prison’s canteen.
The ritual associated with the prisoners’ last meals is usually respected in most American states where the death penalty is practiced, except in Texas where an unusual case lead to it being abolished.
In September 2011, Lawrence Russell Brewer requested a huge last meal including a plate of two chicken-fried steaks with gravy and sliced onions, a triple-patty bacon cheeseburger, a cheese omelet with ground beef, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, jalapeños, a bowl of fried okra with ketchup, a pound of barbecued meat with half of a loaf of white bread, a portion of three fajitas, a meat lover’s pizza, a pint of Blue Bell ice cream, a slab of peanut-butter fudge with crushed peanuts, and a serving equivalent to three root beers.
Mr. Brewer did not eat any of it, saying he was not hungry, a provocation which led the state of Texas to abolish all special last meal requests.