Since 2006 this project has documented the last meals of the executed ranging from serial killers, first time offenders, minors tried as adults, the mentally ill and people who have been exonerated after they have been executed. We live in a country that historically has shown a pattern of prejudged prejudice towards people of color, social economic class and the mentally ill. Since 1977 the overwhelming majority of death row defendants have been executed for killing white victims although African-Americans make up half of all homicide victims. This statistic may suggest that a white life is valued more than a black life. The murder rate in non-death penalty states has remained consistently lower than the states with the death penalty. It would be logical to suggest that the threat of an execution for committing a capital crime has little or no deterrence over someone acting under a fit of rage, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, suffering from mental illness and/or not fully understanding the gravity of what it is they are doing. From an economic standpoint there are many studies and statistics that disclose the extremely high expense as it costs millions of dollars more to enforce an execution rather than life in prison sentences. There is an exceptionally high price we pay to enforce capital punishment. In the end the death penalty does not guarantee closure, it does not guarantee deterrence and it most certainly does not guarantee justice. However, the death penalty absolutely guarantees a cycle of perpetual violence. This project visually documents the face and last meal of a convicted killer. The goal of this project is to engage the viewer and in the end question how society is served by the death penalty. This is an on going project that is constantly evolving. Additionally, I would like to thank the thousands of people who have shared their support for this project over the years.
This statement is an opinion which has been based on research, statistics and facts. Earlier in my life I was not opposed to capital punishment, but after years of research I have come to the conclusion that capital punishment is a process that does not work. I encourage you to educate yourself. www.amnesty.org is a great resource that investigates and exposes the facts, whenever and wherever abuses happen.
“The death penalty is a symptom of a culture of violence, not a solution to it.” -Amnesty International