March 27, 2007 / 6:21 PM / 12 years ago

Texas death row inmate ends hunger strike

DALLAS (Reuters) - A Texas death row inmate slated for execution this week has given up a hunger strike he staged to protest prison conditions, officials said on Tuesday.

Roy Pippin, condemned to die for a drug-related double homicide more than a decade ago, had refused food since February 19. His execution by lethal injection is scheduled for Thursday.

“Mr. Pippin began eating again on Monday afternoon. He was visited by a friend who had purchased a sandwich, a carrot cake and several other snack items for him to eat, and he did eat them,” said Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokeswoman Michelle Lyons.

Hunger strikes sometimes occur on the death row in Texas, which leads the nation in executions. Death row inmates spend 23 hours a day in solitary confinement and have no television or work program to occupy their time.

Texas has put 388 prisoners to death since it resumed executions in 1982. It has executed nine so far in 2007 and has two scheduled for this week alone including Pippin’s.

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