Here in America, we have the death penalty. It’s a very controversial topic, and whether you are for it or against it, it’s here. In most states, the death row inmates get to choose whatever they would like to eat for their “last meal.” Whenever I think about this, it always reminds me of the biblical reference of “the last supper,” and it makes me sad.
If I was on death row, and if I got to choose my last meal, I probably wouldn’t eat anything because I’d be too stressed out about being juiced to death to eat. And, many inmates in this position do not request a last meal. The laws in some states are a little different about what they will allow this meal to be.
For example, in Florida, your last meal request has to be under $40. In Texas, the last meal is only granted if it can be prepared in-house. In some states, they allow takeout from a restaurant like pizza or Chinese food. Maryland is a state that doesn’t allow a last meal request at all. Some prisoners order cigarettes for their last meal, and in most prisons, unless it is smoke-free, the inmate is granted this request.
The most popular last meal request of all is a cheeseburger and fries. Steak, ice cream and fried chicken are also at the top of the list. Sometimes prisoners have rather odd requests like exactly 24 tacos, cherry Kool-Aid, a can of Spaghetti-Os, a single black olive with the seed removed, a lump of dirt or world peace. The pictures below are two different artist’s interpretations of real last meal requests of prisoners. The pictures with the orange trays are the work of artist James Reynolds. The ones with the colorful backgrounds are from artist Julia Ziegler. These images are eerie and lonely to me. They are full of fear and sadness. I really don’t know how anyone in that situation could eat at all.