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Copyright©2008. Congregation of Saint Joseph.


Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ, and Patrick Sonnier, the first of six people she has accompanied to the death chamber, and the subject of the book and motion picture, Dead Man Walking.
35 people were executed in the United States in 2014. There are currently over 3,000 inmates on death row awaiting execution.
Sister Helen tours the country and world speaking out against capital punishment. To learn more, click here.
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Death Penalty


The death penalty is one of the great moral issues facing our country, yet most people rarely think about it, and very few of us take the time to delve deeply enough into this issue to be able to make an informed decision about it.

The Congregation of St. Joseph, through the work of dedicated sisters like Helen Prejean, CSJ, and through our sponsored ministry, Ministry Against the Death Penalty (MDAP), seeks to provide that information as a means to end the death penalty as a form of corporal punishment in this country.



Dead Man Walking
20th Anniversary


Sister Helen's book Dead Man Walking, which inspired the motion picture starring Susan Sarandon as Sister Helen, and Sean Penn as convicted killer Patrick Sonnier to whom she ministered and ultimately accompanied to the electric chair. Click here for more information.

“Hmm, I thought, as I opened the book with the formidable title. Let’s see what this nun has to say about the death penalty. The subtitle stated it was an ‘eyewitness’ account, so I was hoping the book would be an unvarnished account of the complex realities surrounding the death penalty, rather than sugar-coated and pietistic. My friend had been right: I did lose sleep. I couldn’t put the book down. It galvanized me.”

- Susan Sarandon, from her afterword to the 20th anniversary edition




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