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Sister Helen Prejean
film poster
Sister Helen Prejean and film poster

'Dead Man Walking' shown March 29, author visits April 5

By Adi Pavlovic
Student Writer, College of Liberal and Fine Arts

(March 28, 2006)--The UTSA Campus Activity Board (CAB) will host a showing of the film, "Dead Man Walking," at 7 p.m., Wednesday, March 29 in the University Center Retama Auditorium (2.02.02), 1604 Campus. The screening is free and open to the public. Then next week, the author of the book on which the movie was based, Sister Helen Prejean, will speak at UTSA.

The film is based on Prejean's Pulitzer Prize-nominated book, "Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States."

Prejean will come to UTSA to discuss her book and death penalty issues in a lecture, "Dead Man Walking: The Journey Continues," at 6 p.m., Wednesday, April 5 in the Retama Auditorium. The talk is free and open to the public.

The book was based on Prejean's experiences in 1982, when she became pen pal and spiritual adviser to a condemned murder, Patrick Sonnier, who later was executed. In the book, Prejean describes Sonnier's dark walk to the electric chair.

Prejean's book was on the 1994 American Library Association's Notable Book List after being nominated in 1993 for the Pulitzer Prize. On the New York Times bestseller list for 31 weeks, the book was translated into 10 languages and became an international bestseller.

In 1996, the film version of the book, written and directed by Tim Robbins, starred Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon. The movie received four Oscar nominations, including Robbins for best director, Penn for best actor, Sarandon for best actress and Bruce Springsteen's "Dead Man Walking" for best song. Sarandon won the best actress award.

In December 2004, Prejean published her second book, "The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions," which tells the stories of Dobie Gillis Williams and Joseph O'Dell, whom she accompanied to their executions.

Currently, Prejean travels around the nation to lecture, organize and write against the death penalty.

For more information call Sarah Grafton at (210) 458-4728.

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