Friday, November 21, 2003

A few reader's last meals to get us ready for the mother of all food days....

Salvador B. Jr. of past unknown, show admirable restraint
1) One California burrito from Colimas in San Diego, CA
2) One bag of Cheetos (Crunchy)
3) Two Arizona Iced Teas (One Lemon and One Raspberry)
4) One pint of Ben and Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk

As does...

Jennifer H., from Elon, North Carolina way

Chicken alfredo from Carrabba's, chicken chalupa from Taco Bell with just chicken and cheese, 20 oz. Coke, 20 oz. Mountain Dew, and for dessert: banana pudding, and Dessert Rosa from Carrabba's.


amy r. of parts unknown says "i've given this matter a bit too much thought, but i have finally concluded that my request would entail:"

- one generous helping of stir-fried vegetables (broccoli, water chestnuts, carrots, leeks, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, miniature corn [cobs], and snow pea pods) slathered in a nice, delicate white sauce that consists of chicken or oyster stock,
- one carton of steamed white rice to accompany the said vegetables,
- cream-soaked linguini / vermicelli with veal sauteed with white wine, garlic, lemon, capers, and fresh mushrooms (as if they would go out of their way, but hey, i don't plan on committing any act of violence in the near future, so i don't think i need to worry),
- two steak shish-kabobs with red onion and bell peppers,
- a few slabs of grilled chicken imbued with a mixture of lime, cayenne pepper, and shiner blonde (would that count as alcohol consumption, i wonder?),
- a pint of dreyer's "dreamery" chocolate peanut butter chunk ice cream,
- a 32 oz. jug of "indian summer" apple juice [for sentimental value] (gah, i'm an advertiser's wet dream), and
- a cup of hot tea with two teaspoons of both sugar and half-and-half.


Cindy M. from the Show Me State is a healthy little pretend murderess....

Fruit salad (tangerines, grapes, pineapple, plumes, strawberries, banana, peach, pear, and any other "salad" fruit), spinach wrap (soy cheese w/lettuce, tomato, sprouts, pine nut spread, and cucumbers), 3 pickles (wedges), key lime pie w/ lme garnish, and hot jasmine tea.

Dateline: Nigeria

The highlights...

Death Penalty Stays Says Minister

Death penalty would not be abolished in Nigeriaas "we cannot do without capital punishment, the minister of Internal Affairs has said.

Amidst protests from parts of the country, there has been a sustained campaign from sections of the international community urging government to outlaw the capital punishment. But Minister of State for Internal Affairs, Alhaji Abubakar Tanko, told reporters in Kaduna on Tuesday that death penalty remains because it remained the right resort in many demands for appropriate penlty for willful crimes.

According to him, any person who commits a capital offence should pay for it, arguing that it could be more dangerous to allow such a person to continue to live in society.

He noted however that the judiciary must confirm beyond all reasonable doubts that a person convicted in a case of capital offence is seen to be actually guilty. If this is the case, the minister said, "there is no reason why he should not be killed."


The highlights....

Death penalty overhaul becomes law

After four years of tumult that fed a national debate on the death penalty, lawmakers Wednesday changed the face of capital punishment in Illinois.

The House voted 115-0 to enact historic changes to a death penalty system that has led to the wrongful conviction of 17 men. The Senate acted earlier this month, so the changes become law immediately.

They include giving the Supreme Court greater power to toss out unjust verdicts, letting defendants have more access to evidence and barring the death penalty in cases that depend on a single witness.

....The law also bars the execution of the mentally retarded, bringing the state into compliance with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year.

....It also makes it easier for condemned people to clear their names with newly discovered evidence and guarantees they will be able to see state's evidence that favors them-- including some previously off-limits documents.

...Between the time the death penalty was reinstated in 1977 in Illinois and January 2000, when Ryan imposed a moratorium on executions, 12 people were executed, while 13 were released because they had been wrongly condemned.

November 20, 2003

..."Here I go"....

Last Meal: Henry made no final meal request.

The skinny: He was executed for the fatal beating and stabbing of an 83 year-old woman, and her 57 year-old daughter.

Confession...for a while: Henry, a family acquaintance, confessed to the slaying to a police officer some two months after the killings over the Labor Day weekend but subsequently denied involvement in the deaths.

However, details of his confession were substantiated by DNA evidence. One of the victim's blood was found in Henry's car and his blood was found on the victims' washing machine. Henry admitted he used a knife and had worn work boots with knobby soles. His work boots matched bloody footprints found at the crime scene.

In an interview last week, Henry stated, "I kind of got suckered through the whole system. I'm getting a bum rap. You can't avoid it. ... I'm stuck.''

Last month, the Supreme Court refused to review his case.

Last words and such: Henry replied, “No sir,” when asked by a warden if he had a final statement.

In the seconds before the drugs began taking effect, he smiled and nodded toward some friends and relatives watching nearby through a window, then mouthed, “Bye-bye. I love you. Here I go.”

Then he blew them a kiss and immediately snorted and gasped as the drugs took effect.

He did not look at relatives of his two victims, who were watching through another window.

Factoids: The 83 year-old grandmother's tombstone carries the engraved image of a clown face. She had spent decades bringing joy to people as "Jollypop," a professional clown well known around her hometown of Portland, just across the bay from Corpus Christi.

Henry was the first Texas execution in about 2 1/2 months. It was the state's longest hiatus for executions in seven years. Five more Texas inmates are scheduled to die next month.

Henry was the...
62nd murderer executed in U.S. in 2003
882nd murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
22nd murderer executed in Texas in 2003
311th murderer executed in Texas since 1976