MACON – Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States and the subject of the motion picture Dead Man Walking will speak Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. in Willingham Auditorium on Mercer's Macon campus, 1400 Coleman Avenue.
The event, titled "Dead Man Walking: A Discussion of the Death Penalty in America" is free and open to the public. A reception and book signing in Groover Hall will follow the event.
Prejean was born in Louisiana and is a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Medaille. She began her prison ministry in 1981 and since then has counseled many convicted killers as well as the families of murder victims.
She turned her experiences into a book, Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1993 and spent 31 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list. In 1996, the book was developed into a major motion picture, which received four Oscar nominations.
Prejean and Dead Man Walking have been the subject of numerous media stories and reviews. She is a member of Amnesty International and an honorary member of Murder Victim Families for Reconciliation. She is currently at work on her second book, a spiritual autobiography.
The lecture is sponsored by Amnesty International Mercer, National Endowment for the Humanities, Student Government Association, First Year Seminar Program, Walter F. George School of Law, University Commons, Hispanic and Latino Student Union, Pi Sigma Alpha and Spanish Club.
Founded in 1833 in Penfield, Ga., Mercer is the only independent university of its size in the country to offer programs in liberal arts, business, engineering, education, medicine, pharmacy, law, theology and nursing. With more than 7,300 students and 400 faculty members on campuses in Macon and Atlanta, Mercer is one of the largest Baptist-affiliated institutions in the world. Led by President R. Kirby Godsey, Mercer has been ranked among the leading colleges and universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report for 12 consecutive years.
Editor's Note: Media interested in covering the event should contact Lance Wallace at (478) 301-4037 or (800) 837-2911.
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