In 1982, Sister Helen Prejean was invited to write a letter to a man on death row in Louisiana’s Angola State Prison named Elmo Patrick Sonnier. She told us, “I thought that all I was going to be doing was writing letters. And lo and behold, two years later, I am in that execution chamber.” She’s now 81, and has been present at the executions of six men.
Sister Helen’s book, Dead Man Walking, is about her time as a spiritual advisor to Elmo Patrick Sonnier and Robert Lee Willie. It was adapted into a movie starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn.