Photographer Henry Hargreaves received global attention in 2011 for his intriguing photo series No Seconds, which re-created the last meals of prisoners in the United States who had been condemned to death.His work raised awareness of the many issues surrounding the implementation of the death penalty, but he wasn’t done with the subject yet. Hargreaves, a native of New Zealand, is back, taking another look at the condemned in his 2016 series A Year of Killing.
Hargreaves’ latest effort expands upon the initial concept, looking beyond the meals to the inmates who were executed by the state in 2016 and how long they had spent on death row. Even with the difficulty in accessing the drugs for lethal injection, capital punishment in the United Sates is still going strong in the 31 states where the death penalty remains legal. Just in the last 10 years, 433 people have been executed by the state in this country. That is over four times the approximately 100 people who have lost their lives to Islamic terror attacks on U.S. soil during that same period.
According to the Death Penalty Information Center, 20 people were executed in 2016, a new record low. Astonishingly, one in nine Death Row inmates are eventually freed when new evidence arises that proves their innocence. Hargreaves states in the “About Photographer” section of the Year of Killing site:
“By continuing this theme here, he hopes to further highlight the frequency of these killings; how long inmates spend on death row before their executions; and how this whole practice can go on ~ and with such conviction ~ even when there’s great uncertainty around so many cases.”
Hargreaves posted a behind-the-scenes video of his work on the new project:
Main photo: courtesy Henry Hargreaves