Despite being the subject of countless books and movies, capital punishments remains a cold conceptual frontier for most people. Even more bizarre is the last meal: a menacing service by the state for a prisoner who’s done something so abhorrent that, in the eyes of the law, she must be put to death.
“No Seconds,” a photo series by New Zeeland based artist and photographer Henry Hargreaves, offers a unique glimpse into this profoundly uncomfortable tradition. “In New Zealand (where I’m from), and in fact nearly anywhere else in the developed world, the Death Penalty is just not even in the conversation,” he writes. “It is a remnant of an earlier era. This little bit of civility, ‘hey we are going to kill you but what would you like to eat?’ just jumped off the page.”
The following photos seek to establish a link between everyday life and life on death row by invoking a common denominator: food. Although they depict neither the prisoner nor the crime, they somehow rank among the most intimate representations of the punishment.