700 plates show final meals of U.S. death row inmates

Art gallery at Texas State University displays unique plate collection

By Mary Claire Patton - Digital Content Curator
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SAN MARCOS, Texas - A new art gallery at Texas State University called “The Last Supper” shows 700 plates with illustrations of final meals of U.S. death row inmates.

In 1999, Julie Green was struck by an account in the newspaper of a death row inmate’s last meal, according to the TXST gallery website. 

She started painting death row inmate's final meals onto kiln-fired ceramic plates soon after.

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Green plans to add 50 plates a year to her collection until capital punishment in the U.S. is abolished.

While no states allow alcohol at the final meal, sometimes a cigarette request is granted, although they are also technically banned.

Employees at the Indiana Department of Corrections once recalled a person’s request: “He told us he never had a birthday cake so we ordered a birthday cake for him,” according to TXSTgalleries.org.

Texas carries out more executions than any other state, according to DeathPenaltyInfo.org.

Since 1976, more than four times as many inmates have been executed in Texas than in the state with the second-highest number of executions, Virginia.

The TXST gallery “The Last Supper” will be on display until Nov. 10.

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