In the final words of David Castillo, a man condemned to die for murder,
“There is no man that is free from all evil, nor any man that is so evil to be worth nothing.”
These words really hit home for me. Growing up in a country where the death penalty was legal for many years, and due to the very high crime rate, wholeheartedly supported by many, including myself, I decided to explore this topic with an open mind.
Almost 22 000 people were known to be on death row at the end of 2017 and 1 in 10 of those are considered mentally ill. Race and place seem to determine who lives and who dies. Since the reinstatement of the death penalty in the US in 1976, 138 innocent men and women have been released from death row, including some who came within minutes of execution.
A long time tradition in many countries, has been to offer the condemned prisoner a choice of their final meal before execution, and it is this tradition that I chose to explore through a series of 12 images for my college Folio project during 2018.
Their final requests seem to say a lot about the person, their mental state, where they grew up and the things they valued in their lives.