International best-selling author Sister Helen Prejean, known for her book “Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty,” will speak on her experiences with the death penalty and her recent visit with Pope Francis at Lone Star College-Tomball on March 2 at 7 p.m. in the teaching theater (E100) located off the Commons in the Student Center. Prior to her presentation, the film “Dead Man Walking,” starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn, will be shown at 4:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.
This highly anticipated event is sponsored by the Lone Star College Center for Civic Engagement and draws attention to this hot button issue and to recent papal comments and Supreme Court opinions.
According to her bio, Prejean moved into the St. Thomas Housing Project in New Orleans and began working at Hope House from 1981-1984. During this time, she was asked to correspond with a death row inmate Patrick Sonnier. Witnessing his execution lead to her first book, “Dean Man Walking.” It has since become a movie, an opera and a theatre production for high schools and colleges.
“The death penalty is one of the great moral issues facing our country, yet most people rarely think about it and very few of us take the time to delve deeply enough into this issue to be able to make an informed decision about it,” Prejean is quoted as saying on her website.
Since 1984, Prejean has divided her time between educating citizens about the death penalty and counseling individual death row prisoners. She has accompanied six men to their deaths. In doing so, she began to suspect that some of those executed were not guilty. This realization inspired her second book, “The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions.” She is currently working on another book, “River of Fire: My Spiritual Journey.”
Sister Prejean will also speak on the death penalty at LSC-Kingwood on March 1 at 7 p.m. in the Student Conference Center. After the event on each campus, the audience can purchase autographed books for $15 per book or $25 for any two books.
For more information on Sister Helen Prejean or her work, visit http://www.sisterhelen.org/.