Entries tagged with “Sister Helen Prejean

Policy Issues

Representation

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Sep 19, 2023

ABA Death Penalty Representation Project Honors Longtime Capital Defender Mark Olive and Volunteer Law Firm Venable LLP

On September 14th, 2023, the American Bar Association’s Death Penalty Representation Project held its annu­al Volunteer Recognition & Awards Program, hon­or­ing Venable LLP for its pro bono rep­re­sen­ta­tion of death row pris­on­ers, and cap­i­tal defense attor­ney and Florida State University College of Law pro­fes­sor Mark E. Olive, for his life­time com­mit­ment to pro­vid­ing those on death row with qual­i­ty rep­re­sen­ta­tion. Director of the ABA’s Death Penalty Representation Project Emily Olson-Gault not­ed that there is a shrink­ing world of rights for death penal­ty lit­i­gants in the wake of dev­ast­ing U.S. Supreme…

Facts & Research

Religion

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Conditions on Death Row

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Apr 13, 2023

BOOKS: He Called Me Sister: A True Story of Finding Humanity on Death Row”

In He Called Me Sister: A True Story of Finding Humanity on Death Row, author Suzanne Craig Robertson details her jour­ney from reluc­tance to true friend­ship dur­ing her chal­leng­ing fif­teen-year rela­tion­ship with Cecil Johnson, a Tennessee death-row pris­on­er, who was exe­cut­ed in December 2009. Using let­ters, poems, and a per­son­al mem­oir writ­ten by Johnson, Robertson tells their mutu­al sto­ry of per­se­ver­ance, recall­ing that dif­fer­ences don’t have to be barriers.”

Facts & Research

Clemency

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Oct 16, 2023

Louisiana Board of Pardons and Committee on Parole Denies Clemency Hearings for Five Death-Sentenced Prisoners

On October 13, 2023, after a brief admin­is­tra­tive hear­ing, the Louisiana Board of Pardons and Committee on Parole denied clemen­cy hear­ings for five of the 56 death-sen­tenced pris­on­ers seek­ing clemen­cy before Governor John Bel Edwards leaves office in January 2024. The four-mem­ber pan­el split its vote on four of the five appli­ca­tions, with a major­i­ty deny­ing the fifth appli­ca­tion on the grounds that Winthrop Eaton is unlike­ly to be exe­cut­ed because he is men­tal­ly incom­pe­tent. Clifford Deruise, Daniel Irish, Emmett Taylor, and Antoinette Frank were denied clemen­cy hear­ings despite having…

Facts & Research

Recent Legislative Activity

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Religion

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May 01, 2019

Louisiana Christian Faith Leaders Call for State to Abolish Death Penalty

Christian church lead­ers from Catholic and Protestant denom­i­na­tions across Louisiana have called upon state law­mak­ers to pass leg­is­la­tion to end the death penal­ty in the Bayou State. On April 25, 2019, the Louisiana Interchurch Conference and two dozen faith rep­re­sen­ta­tives held a press con­fer­ence on the steps of the state capi­tol in Baton Rouge advo­cat­ing for leg­is­la­tion to abol­ish the state’s cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment law and pledg­ing their sup­port for as long as it takes for abo­li­tion efforts to suc­ceed. Rev. Dan Krutz, exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Louisiana Interchurch Conference, read…

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Jan 03, 2005

NEW RESOURCE: Sister Helen Prejean’s New Book: The Death of Innocents

In her new book, The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions, Sister Helen Prejean uses her per­son­al expe­ri­ences as a coun­selor to those on death row to explore the issue of inno­cence and the like­li­hood of exe­cut­ing a wrong­ly con­vict­ed per­son. The book also traces the his­tor­i­cal and legal under­pin­nings of the death penal­ty in the U.S. Prejean, who authored the #1 New York Times best­seller Dead Man Walking,” begins her new book by focus­ing on the cas­es of Joseph Roger O’Dell and Dobie Gillis Williams, both…

Aug 04, 2006

NEW RESOURCES: The Dead Man Walking School Theatre Project

The stage play of Tim Robbins’ Academy Award win­ning film, Dead Man Walking, is avail­able to col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties across the coun­try. The play is based on the acclaimed book of the same title by Sister Helen Prejean. Through the Dead Man Walking School Theatre Project, the play pro­vides an oppor­tu­ni­ty to broad­en dis­cus­sion about the death penal­ty and involve schools and their local com­mu­ni­ties in an inter-dis­ci­pli­nary dia­logue about this major social issue. The Theatre Project’s new Web site (https://​www​.DropCatch​.com/​r​e​d​i​r​e​c​t​/​?​d​o​m​a​i​n​=​d​m​w​p​l​a​y.org) is designed to help stu­dents and their schools get…

Executions

Executions Overview

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Jun 21, 2011

Sister Helen Prejean Appeals to U.S. Drug Company on Behalf of Georgia Death Row Inmate

Noted author and human rights activist, Sister Helen Prejean, has released a let­ter sent to George S. Barrett, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cardinal Health in Dublin, Ohio, ask­ing him to secure the return of drugs that may be used to exe­cute Andrew De Young in Georgia and to take every step pos­si­ble to make your actu­al prac­tices com­ply with your stat­ed busi­ness and eth­i­cal codes, includ­ing demand­ing the imme­di­ate return of the drugs and refund­ing the pur­chase price of $27,000 to The Georgia Department of Corrections.” See Sr.…

Facts & Research

Religion

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Aug 13, 2019

Sister Helen Prejean: A Memoir on a Life of Social Activism

Sister Helen Prejean, the acclaimed author of Dead Man Walking, has writ­ten a new spir­i­tu­al mem­oir, River of Fire: My Spiritual Journey. The book, released August 13, 2019 by Random House pub­lish­ers, tells the sto­ry of her spir­i­tu­al devel­op­ment from join­ing the Congregation of St. Joseph at age 18 to becom­ing a lead­ing voice in the move­ment to abol­ish the death penalty.

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Race

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New Voices

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Sep 17, 2019

Supporters Rally for New Trial for Rodney Reed, Sentenced to Death by All-White Jury in Jim Crow Trial’ in Texas

Supporters of Rodney Reed (pic­tured) are call­ing for a new tri­al for the Texas death-row pris­on­er sen­tenced to death in 1998 by an all-white jury in a racial­ly charged tri­al. On September 10, 2019, Reed’s fam­i­ly and sup­port­ers protest­ed Texas’ death penal­ty out­side the governor’s man­sion in Austin. Their plea for a new tri­al based on evi­dence of his inno­cence has been joined by a grow­ing cho­rus of sup­port­ers, which include the Innocence Project, the victim’s cousin, Texas state rep­re­sen­ta­tive Vikki Goodwin, and Sister Helen Prejean.

Facts & Research

Religion

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New Voices

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Sep 25, 2023

The Metropolitan Opera Premieres Dead Man Walking” Based on the Book by Sister Helen Prejean

On September 26, 2023, the New York Metropolitan Opera will pre­miere Dead Man Walking” cre­at­ed by American com­pos­er Jake Heggie and Terrence McNally and fea­tur­ing a new stag­ing by Ivo van Hove. The opera is based on Sister Helen Prejean’s 1993 mem­oir which details her jour­ney as a pen pal and spir­i­tu­al advis­er to a death-sen­tenced pris­on­er at Louisiana’s Angola State Prison. It is the most per­formed con­tem­po­rary opera in the world. I can only think that some­how we told this human dra­ma very well,” Mr. Heggie said. It is an…