Dead Man Walking (Paperback)

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Item: 10075576

Description

Dead Man Walking: The Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty That Sparked a National Debate (Paperback)
By Sister Helen Prejean

In 1982, Sister Helen Prejean became the spiritual advisor to Patrick Sonnier, the convicted killer of two teenagers who was sentenced to die in the electric chair of Louisiana’s Angola State Prison. In the months before Sonnier’s death, the Roman Catholic nun came to know a man who was as terrified as he had once been terrifying. She also came to know the families of the victims and the men whose job it was to execute – men who often harbored doubts about the rightness of what they were doing.

Out of that dreadful intimacy comes a profoundly moving spiritual journey through our system of capital punishment. Here Sister Helen confronts both the plight of the condemned and the rage of the bereaved, the fears of a society shattered by violence and the Christian imperative of love. On its original publication in 1993, Dead Man Walking emerged as an unprecedented look at the human consequences of the death penalty. Now, some two decades later, this story – which has inspired a film, a stage play, an opera, and a musical album – is more gut-wrenching than ever, stirring deep and life-changing reflection in all who encounter it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ, a member of the Congregation of St. Joseph, is known worldwide for starting a dialogue on the death penalty. After witnessing the electrocution of a condemned man in a Louisiana prison in 1984, Prejean wrote the bestselling Dead Man Walking and set out, through storytelling, to bring citizens close to the hard realities of government killings. Her mission has taken her to every U.S. state and to the Vatican, where her personal entreaties to two popes helped to shape Catholic opposition to the death penalty.

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; 4th ptg edition (May 31, 1994)
  • Dimensions: 5” W x 8” H


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History

Dead Man Walking

The most widely performed new opera of the last two decades, Dead Man Walking is adapted from the groundbreaking memoir by Sister Helen Prejean. It concerns her ministry to condemned murderers on death row, and in bringing this powerful story to the operatic stage, composer Jake Heggie created a score that recalls Sister Helen’s prose and her advocacy style: direct, unaffected, and unflinchingly honest—but not without a deep understanding of the heart and humanity inside each one of us.

 

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