Friday, May 3, 2013

Last Shred Of Humanity

I was surfing the internet late at night when I came through an album of prisoners' last meals (which is embedded at the end of this post). These prisoners were to be executed and they had one last wish. But this is more complex than that. It is not just some random guy eating Sushi. This is murderers and arsonists knowing their finality and being offered their last shred of humanity.

I find the concept of a last meal on death row fascinating. The fact that the prisoners have done something so terrible that they aren't deemed worthy to live, or it's too dangerous for them to be around others, but someone out there thought of offering them a huge treat just before they die, anything they want. This act of compassion right before you're executed. It's a bit of a mindfuck in my opinion. You are going to take away someone's life away from him as a punishment, but not without respecting it. You respect the fact that the guy is still human, just not a good one.

It is also the  last time for the prisoner to really think about what he's done. They are being offered something to eat as an act of sympathy and yet, their victims didn't share this kind of sympathy or joy in their end moments. This must be the guiltiest time of their whole life, something which is about to end soon.

These murderers are people. Like us, they had a childhood, a life. They have Memories and thoughts. We are taking away their life, but not without some comfort. This may also be the moment of calm for the prisoners. The significance of this is far greater than anything possible just before death. Some may not deserve this, they may have been animals to their victims. But their executors are not animals. We are not animals.

Prisoners choose their last meal  for different reasons.
Some from past memories and some what they craved at the time. Their choice is the last answer they can accept.

2 very curious cases is of last meals are of Philip Workman and Ricky Ray Rector.

  1. Ricky Ray Rector had 2 counts of murder and was 42 years old. He ordered steak, fried chicken, Kool-aid and a pecan pie. But he left his pie 'for later'
  2. Philip Workman asked for a vegetarian pizza be given to a homeless person. A request that was denied. He then refused to eat anything. However, people respected his last wish and several homeless shelters began getting pizzas by people who believed that Workman's act was selfless, and kindness to all living beings is a virtue.

The first picture struck me the hardestMurderer or not, it must be so unimaginably bizarre watching your favorite movie, knowing that it's the last time you'll ever see it or any other movie, while eating the last meal you'll ever tasteEven if he simply loves the movie, can he really stop thinking about what's coming? Even during the best scenes, as Gandalf is holding back the Balrog or Gimli and Aragorn are defending the bridge... Can he ever really stop thinking "My life will be ending tonight."?

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