Photographer Recreates Death Row Inmates' Last Meals

  • Posted 15 months Ago

In a series aptly titled "No Seconds", photographer Henry Hargreaves has recreated the last meals of condemned prisoners.

Hargreaves says the idea originally came to him while reading about Texas's efforts to end the tradition of giving death row inmates an elaborate final meal. "Anywhere else in the developed world, the death penalty is just not even in the conversation," said Hargreaves when speaking to WIRED. "It is a remnant of an earlier era. This little bit of civility, 'Hey, we are going to kill you but what would you like to eat?' just jumped off the page. I thought it could be a really interesting idea to try to represent visually."

He then worked with his chef friend to recreate 10 of the culinary requests, using Wikipedia to find the details of the meals. Of course, Hargreaves had no photographic reference to base the series on, so the serving style, cutlery, and setting are all pulled from his imagination.

In case you were wondering, Texas ended up withdrawing the offer of an elaborate final meal in 2011, when murderer Lawrence Russell Brewer ordered a gigantic portion of chicken-fried steaks, fried okra, three fajitas, a bacon cheeseburger and a pizza, followed by ice cream and peanut butter fudge. When the day came, he said he had lost his appetite (rather understandably considering the circumstances).

Take a look at the series below and check out more of Henry Hargreaves' work here.

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Tags: photography