The ‘last meal’ on death row is a somber ritual. However, in some countries where the death penalty is in effect, it is customary for the deceased to be allowed to choose his final meal.
His diet, which is the final decision of his life, is as unique as his personality, decision-making, and background.
How this custom is practiced varies from country to country. In the United States, this meal is served a day or two before the execution, not as a ‘final meal,’ but as a ‘special meal.’
Although the prisoner may have the right to request this food subject to certain restrictions and amounts, alcohol or tobacco are not provided. Also, most of these prisoners, who have been very scared in the last few days, do not order this meal, and only a small percentage of those who request it eat it.
In 2016, photographer Henry Haggriev recreated and photographed the last meal of executed prisoners throughout the United States. Many of these prisoners’ choice of their final meal reflects their fears, desires, and loneliness about moving away from their familiar environment. This article gives you a brief overview of the following:
#1 Ronnie Lee Gardner
The 49-year-old prisoner was sentenced to death in Utah for burglary, burglary, and double murder.
His last meal consisted of lobster tail, steak, apple pie, and vanilla ice cream. His special request was to eat while watching the Lord of the Rings movies.
#2 Theresa Lewis
The 41-year-old Virginia citizen was sentenced to death for conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy, and robbery.
Her last meal was fried chicken, butter with apple cider vinegar, apple pie, and a sweet drink called Dr. Pepper.
#3 Ferdinando Nicola Saco and Bartholomew Vanzetti
They were 36 and 39 years old when they were convicted of double murder and executed in Massachusetts. However, the then-Governor of Massachusetts issued a statement saying that their trial and sentencing were unfair and that the case should be re-tried.
Their last meal was soup, meat, toasted bread, and tea.
#4 Steven Anderson
The 49-year-old Californian was sentenced to death for burglary, assault, escape from prison, and murder of seven people.
Stevan’s last meal consisted of two grilled cheese and sandwiches, a pint of cottage cheese, a mixture of corn-hominy, peach pastel, radish, and chocolate chip ice cream.
#5 John Wayne Geese
The 52-year-old Illinois citizen who was a manager at KFC was sentenced to death for sexually assaulting women and killing 33 people.
His final meal consisted of 12 fried prawns, a bucket of KFC fried chicken, an ounce of fried potato slices, and strawberries.
#6 Ronnie Threadgill
The 40-year-old Texas man was sentenced to death after pleading guilty to one count of murder.
His last meal was baked chicken, mashed potatoes with vegetables, sweet peas, bread, water, tea, and punch. Because there was. He was given the same standard of food as other prisoners.
#7 Victor Feger
He was a 28-year-old Iowa native convicted of kidnapping and murder.
As his last meal, he ate one olive with a bone. It is said that after his death, the olive tree grew into a tree, and he continued to believe that he would be considered a symbol of peace.
#8 Ted Bundy
Bundy’s last meal. (Henry Hargreaves) A notorious murderer, rapist, and homosexual who murdered more than 35 people (mostly women) were sentenced to death at 43 in Florida. Since no special meal was requested, the traditional final dinner was served to him.
The meal consisted of beef steak, fried eggs, potato hash browns, bread and milk made with butter and jelly, and fruit juices.
#9 Ricky Ray Rector
The 42-year-old Arkansas man was convicted of double murder and sentenced to death.
Meat steak. Although he asked for fried chicken, a cherry-flavored Kool-Aid soft drink, and pecan pasta as his last meal, he eventually left a piece of pecan pasta, saying he would save it for another meal.
#10 Timothy McVeigh
McVeigh, a 33-year-old Indiana native, was sentenced to death for killing 168 people.
He ate two pints of mint and chocolate chip ice cream as his last meal.
Primarily, the purpose of this ‘Last Supper’ ritual is to bring shock and sympathy to society rather than to provide relief to the person sentenced to death. Our role as a society is to think and decide whether a cruel punishment like the death penalty is still appropriate for such an advanced and civilized age.