From Pig Tails to Cheesecake: A Look at TN Death Row Inmates’ Last Meals

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Fried pork chops, mashed potatoes with gravy, and peach pie with vanilla ice cream was the last meal of Tennessee death row inmate Nicholas Sutton.


Nicholas Sutton, who died by means of electrocution Thursday, February 20th, was the state’s first inmate to be put to death this year.


Sutton was sentenced to death in 1986 after killing a fellow inmate. He was in prison at the time he committed the murder, serving a life sentence for three murders he had been convicted of in 1979.


According to the Tennessee Department of Corrections, death row inmates are allowed to request a last meal “within reason” costing up to $20.


Here is what the 10 inmates executed prior to Sutton selected for their final meal:


Lee Hall, convicted for killing his ex-girlfriend in 1991, was executed in December. He selected a Philly cheesesteak, two orders of onion rings, a slice of cheesecake, and a Pepsi for his final meal.


Stephen West, convicted of a double murder in the 1980s and put to death in August, ate a Philly cheesesteak and french fries.


Donnie Johnson, a Shelby County resident, was sentenced to death for the 1984 murder of his wife. Prior to his execution in May, Johnson opted to forgo picking his last meal and instead asked that his supporters donate meals to the homeless.


David Miller, sentenced to death for a 1983 murder, was executed in December 2018. For his last meal, he chose fried chicken, mashed potatoes, biscuits, and coffee.


Edmund Zagorski, sentenced to death for a 1983 double murder, received the death penalty in November 2018. He ate pickled pig knuckles and pig tails for his final meal.


Billy Ray Irick, was convicted for the 1985 murder of a 7-year-old girl and was the first inmate in Tennessee to be executed after nearly a decade break. Before his death in August 2018, Irick selected a burger, onion rings, and a Pepsi for his final meal.


Cecil Johnson, convicted for a 1980 triple murder and put to death in December 2009, refused a final meal.


Steve Henley, convicted of killing a couple in 1985, was sentenced to death in February 2009. He requested shrimp, oysters, fried fish, onion rings, and hush puppies.


Daryl Holton, convicted for the death of three children in 1997 and put to death in September 2007, declined a last meal.


Philip Workman, a Shelby County resident convicted for the murder of a police officer in 1982, was executed in May 2007. He didn’t select a last meal, but instead asked that a large vegetarian pizza be given to a homeless person.


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