Lethal Injection Chamber, (Executioner's view), Huntsville, TX
Photograph (c) Mark Jenkinson /All Rights Reserved

Colonel Donald Hocutt, (ret.) Executioner, Parchman State Penitentiary, Mississippi Photograph (c) Mark Jenkinson /All Rights Reserved

Gas Chamber, Carson City, NV
Photograph (c) Mark Jenkinson /All Rights Reserved

Lethal Injection Chamber, Angola, LA
Photograph (c) Mark Jenkinson /All Rights Reserved

Shareef Cousin, on his first day on Death Row, Angola, LA
Photograph (c) Mark Jenkinson /All Rights Reserved

I photographed Shareef on his first day on Death Row. He was seventeen years old. It later came to light that witnesses who were able to exonerate Shareef were not allowed to testify at his first trial. Eventually he was granted a new trial and the D. A. declined to retry him. After three years on Death Row, the murder charges against Shareef were dismissed.

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Mark Jenkinson's editorial, corporate and advertising photography, an estimated 30,000 plus photographs, have been published in virtually every major magazine in the world. He's won numerous awards including the Meade, AR 100, and Society of Publication Design awards. His photographs have been exhibited at the International Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House, San Francisco Art Institute, Light Gallery, Daniel Wolf Gallery, O.K. Harris Gallery, Parsons School of Design, Rhode Island School of Design, Cooper Union and others. He teaches in the Photography and Imaging Department at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.

Jenkinson spent over ten years photographing on America's Death Row. "This project began as an outgrowth of my "Hidden Interiors" project, starting with photographs of execution sites. Eventually I became consumed with the subject of capital punishment and began a long term personal project photographing convicted murders, families of victims, executioners, and prosecutors. Most of this project has been financed by my commercial work, but a few magazines (Esquire, German Playboy, Newsweek and Time) have commissioned major features of the subject. I started the project as a death penalty abolitionist, but have come to understand that the issues are not the abstract arguments I started with. The issues became far more complex and personal once you spend time with a parent whose child had been brutally murdered, an inmate who's facing a fast approaching date with death, or a Warden who has been charged with executing a man he believes to be innocent. Nothing is so simple except that is final."

Mark Jenkinson's Blog Photography Essentials


Anonymous said...

These pictures are starkly haunting-

Susan said...

Dark stuff - you wouldn't ever want to be there. Sometimes there's a fine line between voyeurism and curiously fascinating photography.

Unknown said...

Gooseflesh with a shudder on my back!

Nevertheless: Have a nice weekend.
Steven D!

Caio Fern said...

good to see this work .
it is very diferent of the movies . it is even more "profissional " and cleaner .
what a nightmare .
good work of Jenkison . even so . still makes me nauseated .

Mandy said...

Those are amazing photos and I really appreciate what the photogrqapher said in that last paragraph there. It is not a cut and dry issue, is it?

liz.blog said...

I think the story of Shareef Cousins above is important to note. He was on Death Row for 3 years before released as innocent. That is chilling.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Great photographs.
As I've gotten older the whole death penalty issue has got much more complex to me. The bad legal counsel of many of the judged guilty really bothers me.
I am afraid that we may have executed innocent people.

d. moll, l.ac. said...

Chilling tour.

Phoenix said...

Great photos - very touchy and frightening subject that not enough people know a lot about - yet everyone has VERY strong opinions on it.

I'm glad that boy was set free and that he will not be put to death for a crime he did not commit.

Twat Boy said...

No smoking in the letal injection chamber?! Is it a stupid joke? No to death penalty!!
Greetings from Spain!!
P.D. I like the pictures very much!