University of Rochester

EVENT: Renowned Death Penalty Adversary to Speak at University

October 4, 2000

Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the U.S. and strong advocate against the death penalty, will speak at 8 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 25, in Strong Auditorium on the University of Rochester River Campus. A book signing will follow in the lower level of the Interfaith Chapel. Her speech is co-sponsored by Amnesty International and the Catholic Newman Community as part of the John Henry Newman Lecture Series.

Prejean's best-selling book details her dedicated work as a spiritual advisor to death row inmates at Louisiana State Penitentiary. First published in 1993, Dead Man Walking was on the New York Times best seller list for 31 weeks, nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and later made into a motion picture that earned Susan Sarandon an Academy Award as best actress for her portrayal of Sister Prejean. Dead Man Walking has been translated into 10 languages and is the subject of an opera that will debut this month at the San Francisco Opera Company.

Sister Prejean is currently a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize, as she was in 1998 and 1999, and has received many other awards including the Laetare Medal from Notre Dame University, the Champion of Liberty award from the U.S. Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the Sanctity of Life award from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Admission to Prejean's evening presentation is free to all students with a student ID. General admission to the presentation is $5. Tickets are available at the Common Market in Wilson Commons on River Campus, at Media Play in Southtown Plaza, and will be also available at the door.