The Last Meals of Criminals Sentenced to Death

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The death sentence for criminals is a highly controversial and debatable topic all around the world. Some think that sentencing a person to death is incredibly barbaric while others feel that it is good for society. Despite the various opinions, one can agree that it is indeed a sobering practice. Henry Hargreaves, an artist from New Zealand explores the death penalty and our reaction to it in his gripping “No Second” photo series where he re-creates the final meals of criminals sentenced to death in Texas.
 
Hargreaves' “No Second” installment gives us an insight of the kinds of food that was requested and served just right before the criminals were executed. The “Last Meal” tradition that many modern countries practice is loosely based on the Christian story of the Last Supper where Jesus ate his final meal with his disciples before he was betrayed, captured and nailed to a wooden cross. Countries like the United States and Singapore (just to name a few) offer death-row inmates the chance to select a meal of their choice before they are sent to their doom, and the authorities will do their best to satisfy their request.
 
“While I was reading about efforts to stop the Last Meal tradition in Texas it sparked my interest,” Hargreaves said. “In the most unnatural moment there is (state sponsored death) what kind of requests for food had been made?”
 
Hargreaves called upon the assistance of his friend who is a chef to cook the meals that were mentioned in the records of the already deceased criminals and photographed them. After which, Hargreaves tried a spoonful of ice cream from one of the convict's recreated meal but he had trouble swallowing it down.
 
“It was kind of like going to a hospital and eating the lunch of someone who’s just been pronounced dead,” he explained.
 
The recreated last meals depict a hint of the criminals' personalities and it is a somber reminder of the transience of life.
 
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Notice how there isn't a single alcoholic drink in the prisoners' requests. That's because the United States forbids them from consuming any alcohol. I don't see why though, they are going to die anyway. Best to die drunk and happy. So after seeing all the last meals that have gone into these inmates' stomachs before they were executed, if you had a choice too, what would you request for your last meal?
 
Information Source: Henry Hargreaves
 

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