A book of more than 40 photographs, Jacquelyn C. Black has created a powerful work focused on death row inmates and what they chose as their last meal before being executed. Combined with last words of the condemned, each left and right set of pages features a photo of the person and what they ate. Focused on inmates in Texas, among the photos and meals is that of Karla Faye Tucker.
Some apologize for their crimes. Others cling to a claim of innocence. Background information such as education level and job at the time of arrest is often included, making the book an eerily disturbing work. Information about the death penalty is sprinkled through the book, from statistics on countries with the highest number of executions (the U.S. ranks third, ahead of Iran, Egypt and Saudi Arabia); to the statistic that 12 states do not have the death penalty; and that 10 of those have homicide rates below the national average.
The sparse nature of the statistics and text leaves the photos of …last meal to create a powerful emotional reaction.
Jacquelyn C. Black grew up in Louisiana, Texas, and Tampa, Florida. She went to school at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Her work has been exhibited in Boston and at the Alternative Museum in New York City where she currently resides and works as a freelance photographer.