The Omega Suites
In the 1990s, photographer Lucinda Devlin started a series of photographs of gas chambers, injection rooms, electric chairs, and death row cells in rural US penitentiaries. The purpose wasn't to highlight any particular view on the death penalth, but rather to show the environment in which death takes place.
"I wasn’t prepared for this. Looming in front of me was a massive, gray bunker. It looked impenetrable. Guard towers ascended at each end and concertina wire was set atop the wall all the way around. I don’t know what I was expecting, but my heart was beating wildly as I was asked to remove my belt and shoes. After being thoroughly searched, my hand was stamped with an invisible substance which glowed under ultraviolet light, and I was escorted through successive barred doors. The guard accompanying me was young and not too tall, but he obviously spent a lot of time with weights. He was taut and not just because of his well muscled body. It was also in his demeanor. In fact, this tension was palpable all around me. When I began this photographic project, I had little knowledge of the death penalty in America. But one cannot go in and out of maximum security prisons and view a wide assortment of spaces intended for killing people without becoming curious about the laws, the people charged with carrying out those laws, the living environments, and most importantly, the inmates on death row who are irrevocably affected by this singular punishment."