The death penalty does not align with the message of Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus calls us to work to gain justice for people who can’t do it for themselves.
In this episode, Bishop Wright has a conversation with Sister Helen Prejean, a Roman Catholic nun and a leading American advocate for the abolition of the death penalty. Sister Prejean shares her conversion experience of understanding the Gospel and how it led her to be a spiritual adviser for men on death row. Sister Prejean also shares her experience of working with families of victims and how they are able to heal without further killing.
Bishop Wright and Sister Prejean also discuss the history of the death penalty, how courageous people of faith have stood against it, and the church’s role in preserving the lives of those who are guilty just as we do those who are innocent. Listen in for the full conversation.
Sister Prejean is most well known for her best-selling book, Dead Man Walking (1993), based on her experiences with two convicts on death row for whom she served as spiritual adviser before their executions. In her book, she explored the effects of the death penalty on everyone involved. The book was adapted as an award-winning 1995 film starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn.
Prejean founded the group SURVIVE to help families of victims of murder and related crimes. She served as the National Chairperson of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty from 1993 to 1995. She helped establish The Moratorium Campaign, seeking an end to executions and conducting education on the death penalty.
For more about Sister Prejean’s work visit sisterhelen.org