Sparking Debate on the Death Penalty

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Sister Helen Prejean signing copies of her book.
Sister Helen Prejean signing copies of her book.

Close to 70 people filled the Inner Circle of the library Tuesday night as Sister Helen Prejean, author of “Dead Man Walking,” shared her story and awakening to the iniquity of the death penalty.

A Catholic nun who became involved in social justice, after becoming the spiritual advisor of a convicted killer who was executed, says change happens through personal connections.

Sister Helen saw what happened to killers and the families involved and has been instrumental in sparking national dialogue on the death penalty and helping to shape the Catholic Church’s newly vigorous opposition to state execution. She says when you see the suffering, you can't remain neutral.

For local attorney, Ryan Healy, Sister Helen made him think about what justice really means.

Healy says Sister Helen pointed out that the death penalty really doesn't give justice to the victim's families.

Sister Helen's program was a kick-off for the library's “The Big Read,” book discussions focusing on the book “A Lesson Before Dying” by Ernest J. Gaines.

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