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Last Meals

News articles concerning those just executed often mention final repasts. Since 2003, the weblog Dead Man Eating has posted end-of-life meals in U.S. prisons. Other websites list the more extravagant orders; some bloggers also ask readers to ponder: “What would you request as your last meal?” Beyond initial curiosity, people seem drawn to the subject by being reminded of their own mortality and perhaps puzzling over the character of the condemned, although in fact, little can be inferred about personality, guilt, or innocence from the final repast owing to years of deprivation of certain foods and their preparations in prison, anxiety, and the desire for solace offered by particular items and the meanings they hold. This entry examines the nature of special meal requests prior ...

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