Office of Marketing & Communications
Office: (417) 873-7228
Fax: (417) 873-7435

Sister Helen Prejean

Sister Helen Prejean will speak at Drury on the death penalty in America

For Immediate Release: October 9

Peter Browning, Ph. D.
Theme Year Director
Professor & Chaplain
Philosophy & Religion
Office: (417) 873-7231

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 9, 2009 — Sister Helen Prejean will speak on her prison ministry and book on Thursday, Oct. 15, at 11 a.m. in Clara Thompson Hall.

Sister Prejean began her prison ministry in 1981 when she dedicated her life to the poor in New Orleans. She became pen pals with a convicted killer of two teenagers who was sentenced to death row and was facing the electric chair. Sister Prejean visited him often and became his spiritual adviser. Her eyes were then opened to the execution process of Louisiana.

Sister Prejean turned her experiences into Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States, which was nominated for a 1993 Pulitzer Prize. It was then developed into a film in 1996. She has witnessed five executions in Louisiana during her ministry efforts and now educates the public about the death penalty. Her second book, The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions, shares evidence of information never heard by juries, incompetence of defense lawyers or the rigid formalities of court procedures.

Drury University’s 2009-2010 convocation series Spirituality and Justice honors the connection between spirituality and intellectual pursuit and values interfaith dialogue.

All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. For more details about speakers, changes to speaker schedule, and information, please visit or contact Theme Year Director Peter Browning, Ph. D. at (417) 873-7231 or


Drury is an independent University, church related, grounded in the liberal arts tradition and committed to personalized education in a community of scholars who value the arts of teaching and learning. Education at Drury seeks to cultivate spiritual sensibilities and imaginative faculties as well as ethical insight and critical thought; to foster the integration of theoretical and practical knowledge; and to liberate persons to participate responsibly in and contribute to a global community. For more information, visit

University Communications staff are available to news media 24 hours a day at (417) 839-2886. Visit the Office of University Communications online at Resources include a searchable Expert Guide, staff contacts and downloadable print-quality images and logos.