Biography -

Sr. Helen has been instrumental in sparking national dialogue on the death penalty and helping to shape the Catholic Church's newly vigorous opposition to state executions.  In 1981, Sr. Helen became death row inmate Patrick Sonnier's spiritual advisor.  After witnessing his execution, she wrote a book about the experience, Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States, which became a movie, an opera, and a play.  Since 1984, Sr. Helen has divided her time between educating citizens about the death penalty and counseling individual death row prisoners.  She began to suspect that some of those on death row were not guilty.  This realization inspired her second book, The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions, which was released in December 2004.  It has been more than thirty years since Sr. Prejean began her crusade and she has witnessed many executions in Louisiana.  Today she educates the public about the death penalty by lecturing, organizing and writing.  As the founder of "Survive," a victim's advocacy group in New Orleans, she continues to counsel not only inmates on death row, but the families of murder victims as well.

Website -

Books by Sr. Helen Prejean -