1994: Richard Beavers, hungry to die

On this date in 1994, Richard Beavers was executed by lethal injection in Texas.

Beavers abducted, robbed, and shot dead a young Houston couple — or so he thought; the woman survived and later testified against Beavers.

The Death Penalty Information Center’s executions database classes around 10% of all prisoners put to death in capital punishment’s modern American incarnation as “volunteers,” men and women who ultimately assent to their own execution — most famously including the very first, Gary Gilmore.

Beavers was among them. In the last weeks of his life, the legal issues surrounding his case were not the usual battery of dilatory strategems — but Beavers repelling (successfully) the attempted intervention of the Texas Resource Center’s appellate attorneys despite his objections.

Beavers may have embraced death, but that didn’t make him immune to the pleasures of the flesh.

Last meal request: Six pieces of french toast with syrup, jelly, butter, six barbecued spare ribs, six pieces of well-burned bacon, four scrambled eggs, five well-cooked sausage patties, french fries with ketchup, three slices of cheese, two pieces of yellow cake with chocolate fudge icing, and four cartons of milk.

Our day’s malefactor contributed no last statement to the annals, but was quoted as telling an Associated Press reporter that “it’s really a great day to die, to leave the body.” You’d think so too after that kind of meal.

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