Each of the fourteen receipts in this collection document the purchase of a death row inmate's “special request,” an option for inmates in Georgia who do not want the prison’s standard “institutional tray” menu of
“chicken and rice, rutabagas, seasoned turnip greens, dry white beans, cornbread, bread pudding and fruit punch.”
Special requests initiate a sequence of tasks: order processing, email approvals, and, ultimately, a mundane errand carried out by a human being.
These receipts illuminate the powerful, often invisible administrative infrastructure shepherding commerce and law; the anonymous back offices spinning with clerical duties. The receipts provide granular paper trails of commutes to fast food restaurants and minutes sitting in drive-thru lanes; of the names of store managers and servers and cashiers; of $0 tips. The receipts reveal the fingerprints of bureaucracy—employees’ handwritten notes, a wonky staple. The receipts generate questions; “Dine-In”?
Each inmate represented in this collection received their meal at approximately 4PM and was executed at 7PM, with the exception of Keith Leroy Tharpe, whose execution was stayed by the Supreme Court at 10:31PM, six and a half hours after his last meal. The Georgia Department of Corrections provided the receipts pursuant to the Open Records Act.