Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ, has been instrumental in sparking international dialogue on the death penalty and helping to shape the Catholic Church's newly vigorous opposition to state executions.
At the age of 40, she realised that being on the side of poor people was an essential part of the Gospel. She moved into the St. Thomas Housing Project in New Orleans and began working at Hope House. During this time, she was asked to correspond with a death row inmate. She agreed and became his spiritual adviser.
She is the author of Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States, published in 1993.