Dinner For One
What food death row inmates choose for their last meal may provide insight into criminal minds.
Story by EVELYN ESCOTO
There are no five-star chefs preparing the meals, the waiter carries a gun, only an average of two to three people dine there per year, and no one ever tips. Still, the food is to die for.
No, this isn’t a bizarre restaurant for masochistic patrons — it’s for death row inmates. Ronald L. Akers, a professor of criminology at the University of Florida, says how a prisoner spends his $20 on the last meal could offer insight into the mind of a killer.
Akers says that what a prison inmate decides to have for her or his last meal is very personal. Akers hypothesizes that a refusal to eat a last meal could be for one of two reasons: Inmates are so despaired about their impending death that they simply cannot eat, or it is a final act of defiance.
Akers says that if an inmate chooses a huge meal it could be because the inmate feels like she or he is going to have the best meal she or he has ever had.
“We could only speculate what the implication of the meal might mean but never really know,” Akers says.