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. 

hargreaves 11 Victor Feguer died on March 15, 1963 Henry Hargreaves

hargreaves Sacco and Vanzetti died on August 23, 1927. Harry Hargreaves

hargreaves 10 Ronnie Threadgill died on April 16, 2013. Harry Hargreaves

hargreaves 2 Timothy McVeigh died on June 11, 2001. Harry Hargreaves

hargreaves 3 John Wayne Gacy died on May 10, 1994. Henry Hargreaves

hargreaves 4 Ricky Ray Rector died on January 24, 1992. Henry Hargreaves

hargreaves 5 Stephen Anderson died on January 28, 2002. Harry Hargreaves

hargreaves 6 Teresa Lewis died on September 23, 2010. Harry Hargreaves

hargreaves 7 Allen Lee Davis died on July 8, 1999. Harry Hargreaves

hargreaves 8 Ronnie Lee Gardner died on June 18, 2010. Harry Hargreaves

hargreaves 9 Ted Bundy died on January 24, 1989. Harry Hargreaves

hargreaves 1 Angel Nieves Diaz died on December 13, 2006. Harry Hargreaves