Paradox of choice

This article debunks the notion that prisoners get their choice of last meal. Not quite…

Last-meal requests were always released to the media exactly the way the state received them. But like Buxton’s filet mignon, many of the meals that prisoners wanted were replaced with less expensive or more accessible alternatives, which forced me to be creative in honoring prisoners’ wishes. The policy of the Texas Department of Corrections was that only food items kept on hand in the Walls Unit kitchen commissary and butcher shop could be used. If the condemned asked for lobster, for example, he would be served a filet of processed fish. The last real steak I prepared was in 1993. Afterward, hamburger steaks were subbed in. Most vegetables came out of cans. Requests for large quantities of food were pared down to more practical servings. David Allen Castillo requested 24 tacos in 1998 and got 4.


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