News Release
University Affairs Office
1801 E. Cotati Avenue
Rohnert Park, CA 94928-3609
(707) 664-2057
    October 5, 2004    
    Contact: Jean Wasp, Media Relations Coordinator, (707) 664-2057


Sister Helen Prejean Brings "Dead Man Walking:
The Journey Continues" to SSU, Oct. 29

Sister Helen Prejean, the social justice advocate and outspoken opponent of capital punishment, will host a discussion at Sonoma State University entitled "Dead Man Walking: The Journey Continues" in the Cooperage on October 29 at 7:30 p.m. By sharing her personal account of working with death-row prisoners and witnessing state executions, Prejean hopes to educate the community about the condition of today's prisons, the practices concerning executions, and the injustice of America's court systems.

In 1981, Prejean began her now-famous prison ministry. She began to correspond regularly with death-row inmate Patrick Sonnier, and at his request, became his spiritual advisor. Through her experiences with Patrick, Prejean was exposed to the inner workings of Louisiana's system of capital punishment. Patrick Sonnier was executed in Louisiana's electric chair on April 5, 1984.

Anxious to tell the public what she had seen and been privy to, Prejean wrote "Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the U.S." The book was released in 1993 to critical acclaim and remained on the New York Times bestseller list for 31 weeks. The book was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and has garnered many awards since its publication.

In 1996, the motion picture "Dead Man Walking," based on Prejean's bestselling book was released. Susan Sarandon portrayed Prejean, and was awarded the Oscar for Best Actress.

Prejean's discussion is open to the public. A webcast of this discussion can be viewed at http:/ / Tickets are free to SSU students, $10 for SSU faculty and staff. General admission is $15. To purchase them, call the Student Union, (707) 664-2382.

This event is part of SSU's InterCultural Center's Unity and Diversity Month: A Declaration of (Inter)Dependence.


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Last Modified: 10/05/2004