"Funny how we get so exact about time at the end of life and at its beginning. She died at 6:08 or 3:46, we say, or the baby was born at 4:02. But in between we slosh through huge swatches of time - weeks, months, years, decades even.""The valley of the victimized in this country is wide and deep and growing. In such a sea of pain what can one person do? Better, I decide, to try to help ten real hurting people - or nine, or one - than to be overwhelmed and withdraw and do nothing - or write a paper on The Problem of Evil."
These are some of the extracts from the book by Sister Helen Prejean "Dead Man Walking." It's a real-life story, and the reason why it has been of interest to me is that I live in the area where the events of the book took place. Just several hours away is a world unlike anywhere else in America. It's Louisiana State Penitentiary where felons serve their sentence for the crimes they have or have not committed, and some are even sent to the death row to be executed for first-degree murders. One day a nun by the name Sister Helen Prejean wrote a letter to an inmate awaiting his execution, and he responded asking her to become his spiritual adviser. This relationship started her almost 30-year-long struggle for abolition of capital punishment in the United States. Sister Prejean has been vocal about her ideas of capital punishment all this time and she hopes that her public appeal will one day reverse the unfortunate practice of killing murderers. Her voice is firm, and she makes her appeal heard by many. Listen to her speaking at the Democratic Interfaith Gathering in Denver, CO in 2008.
Several years after her book was published, a major motion picture "Dead Man Walking" starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn came on the big screen. Please, watch the trailer to this movie and complete the exercises below.