Sister Helen Prejean, of "Dead Man Walking" Fame: A Leading Critic of Capital Punishment
[Aired on Wednesday, February 22nd.] On today's ST, we speak with the sharp and ever-colorful Sister Helen Prejean, 72, who gave a free-to-the-public lecture here at TU last night in the Lorton Performance Center. A longtime and deeply committed critic of capital punishment in America, Sister Helen made a few recent appearances in Tulsa --- last night, today on our show, and elsewhere --- in order to promote Tulsa Opera's new production, "Dead Man Walking," which will open on Saturday the 25th at the Tulsa PAC. This operatic yet accessible work, much like the award-winning, likewise-titled motion picture of 1996, tells the story of how Sisten Helen, a Catholic nun from Louisiana, became the spiritual adviser to one Patrick Sonnier, a convicted murderer, and thereafter witnessed his execution. "Dead Man Walking" was originally an autobiographical book by Sister Helen, who talks about this exciting new opera --- and about the status quo of the death-penalty issue today --- on this edition of our show.