When Dead Man Walking was published 20 years ago, author Sister Helen Prejean never imagined her book about working with death row inmates would be made into a movie or the impact it would have on the public perception of capital punishment.
But 20 years later, the true-life account continues to change hearts and minds about what it means to kill people at the hands of the state. A new anniversary edition of the book features a new afterword by Sister Helen, actress Susan Sarandon (who portrayed the nun in the film) and filmmaker Tim Robbins, and a forward by Bishop Desmond Tutu. (Listen to Sister Helen's amusing description of her first meeting with Sarandon.)
Sister Helen visited Montana in 2010 and spoke to members of the Montana Abolition Coalition about the importance of their work to end the death penalty in Montana. She's pictured here with Carolyn Madplume, the mother of woman murdered in Montana and a staunch supporter of our work to end capital punishment.
Just this week, Sister Helen was on the Rachel Maddow show to talk about the importance of telling real stories about prisoners on death row -- it's through these human tales that we can reach people on this issue.
Ending capital punishment is one of the ACLU's top priorities. It is discriminatory, applied arbitrarily and fundamentally violates the Constitution's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.