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February 18, 2014 / Henning

last meals

the tradition of a last meal before execution is ages old and highly symbolical. it can be seen as a way to make peace in between the sentenced prisoner and the entity that condemned him. also some superstition might be part of it, manifested in the fear, the executed could return as an evil spirit.

the united states are – as far as i know – the only western country that still makes use of death penalty laws. although there are some limitations about what and how much an inmate may request, the custom of a last meal still exists in most u.s. states – with the exception of texas.

henry hargreaves is a photographer from new zealand. he got interested in this cultural phenomenon and researched famous last meals requested by death row inmates in american prisons. he recreated those meals, took photos, added some basic info and i think he did a great job.








find more info about henry hargreaves’ no seconds project on beautiful decay.


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