Details of death row inmate's extremely extravagant last meal request emerge
If you could have absolutely anything as your last meal on this mortal plane, what would it be? Personally, as a non-meat-eater, I think I'd go for the best lab-grown steak money could buy, accompanied by an uncomfortably large portion of fries and onion rings (all smothered in cheese and peppercorn sauce, of course), and then rounded off with a literal pile of tiramisu, banoffee pie, and chocolate lava cake.
Because if I'm going to go out anyway, I might as well go out on a meal that could kill me in its own right.
Last meal requests are a real thing, of course - albeit very few of them are ever as extravagant as my insane concoction. What with various restrictions and regulations, death row inmates who are entitled to last meals cannot ask for anything too zany.
And yet, this one guy managed to push the boat out pretty far with his menu order.
Keith Leroy Tharpe, who was due to be executed last September for the 1991 murder of Jacquelin Freeman, put in a particularly extreme request for his last meal - the details of which have recently been released. According to the Georgia Department of Corrections, "Tharpe requested a last meal of three spicy chicken breasts, roast beef sandwich with sauce, fish sandwich, tater logs, onion rings, apple pie, and a vanilla milkshake."
Because of Georgia's comparatively lax rules on last meal requests, Tharpe's request was granted - but not every state is quite so generous. Florida prisons, for example, stipulate a $40 budget for inmates' final meals. Texas, by contrast, has no limit on the cost of a meal; however, anything an inmate orders must be prepared on-site in the prison.
And yet, even with all the strict guidelines that must be followed, some former death row inmates managed to have even stranger last meals.
Steven Woods, who was executed for a double homicide in Texas in 2011, consumed a mighty feast for his final meal. He chowed down on a large pizza, four fried chicken breasts, two pounds of bacon, five chicken fried steaks, two bacon hamburgers, a dozen garlic bread sticks, Mountain Dew, Pepsi, root beer, sweet tea, and two pints of ice cream.
Unsurprisingly, Texas implemented their 'no external food' rule shortly after this.
Even more extravagant than that, however, was Robert Dale Conklin's last meal in 2005. The murderer was granted his final request of bacon-wrapped filet mignon, garlic shrimp, a baked potato with butter, sour cream, chives and bacon, corn on the cob, asparagus, bread and butter, goats cheese, a whole melon, some apple pie, iced tea, and vanilla ice cream.
Perhaps the weirdest request of all, though, was that of James Edward Smith. In 1990, he asked for a "lump of dirt." Unfortunately for him, the prison wouldn't allow it, so he settled for a yoghurt instead.
So, while Tharpe's recent request may have been particularly extra (seriously, who could stomach all those different types of food in one sitting), it's certainly not the strangest we've ever heard of. At the time of writing, Tharpe is still on death row, as his execution was stayed at the last minute.