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Helen Prejean

Sister Helen Prejean (b. April 21, 1938) is a leading American advocate for the abolition of the death penalty. Her crusade began in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1981, through a correspondence she maintained with a convicted murder, Patrick Sonnier[?], who was sentenced to death by electrocution. She visited Sonnier in prison and agreed to be his spiritual adviser in the months leading up to his death. The experience gave Prejean greater insight into the process involved in executions and she began speaking out against capital punishment. At the same time, she also founded "Survive[?]," an organization devoted to providing counselling to the families of victims of violence.

Prejean has since ministered to many other inmates on death row and witnessed several more executions. She served as National Chairperson of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty[?] from 1993 to 1995.

An autobiographical account of her relationship with Sonnier and other inmates on death row served as the basis for the feature film Dead Man Walking.

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