April 26, 2012 at 12:48 PM ET
Death row inmates facing the ultimate sentence have little to look forward to, but one thing some of them focus on is the personalized menu they're afforded on their final day. A new Discovery Channel special, "Death Row: The Final 24 Hours," takes a closer look at that tradition.
Brian Price, a former inmate in Texas' Huntsville prison, became a death-row chef while serving time and prepared 189 last meals during his lock up. In a sneak peek for the special, Price shared his thoughts about the process.
"Imagine what's going through their minds: 'This is my last meal on this earth,'" Price said before revealing some sample menus that featured mostly mundane foods, such as fried chicken, tossed salad, burritos and BLTs.
"I would start putting the ingredients together -- whatever I was going to need on the day of the execution," he said of his routine. "I'd prepare it ahead of time if I could."
For Price, the meals had meaning beyond the ingredients.
"The death row inmates, they didn't have a choice of whatever meal they were going to have every day," he explained. "Here they have a choice, something they probably haven't had in two decades."
The rules regulating last meals vary from state to state. According to the special, Florida provides a maximum allowance of $40. In Oklahoma, the limit is capped at $15. As for Price's home state of Texas, on-request last meals became a thing of the past last year.
Price, who authored a book titled "Meals to Die For," felt so passionate about restoring the tradition that he offered to prepare every last meal in Texas at his own expense. The state declined his offer.
"Death Row: The Final 24 Hours" airs Monday, April 30, at 10 p.m. ET on the Discovery Channel.
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