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Dead Man Walking: The Eyewitness Account Of The Death Penalty That Sparked a National Debate Paperback – May 31, 1994

ISBN-13: 978-0679751311 ISBN-10: 0679751319 Edition: 1st Vintage Books ed

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; 1st Vintage Books ed edition (May 31, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679751319
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679751311
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A Catholic nun's compelling polemic against capital punishment.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Prejean, a Catholic nun, has written a moral indictment of capital punishment. This book is the result of her visits to two death-row inmates at the Louisiana State Penitentiary where she serves as a spiritual advisor. Although she documents the inequalities of the judicial system that has condemned these men, her main point is that if society is to inflict this extreme punishment, it should, itself, be perfect. Needless to say, it is not. Opponents of the death penalty will find reinforcement for their cause here. The general reader, however, will probably find the book too narrow in focus, too self-righteous. Prejean writes well, but her material will not attract the wide audience she wants. An optional purchase.
- Frances Sandiford, Green Haven Correctional Facility Lib., Stormville, N.Y.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

This book has changed my view on capital punishment.
JMack
Throughout the book, Sister Helen Prejean acts as a personal advisor to inmates that have received the death sentence for their actions.
Brian W
I needed to absorb the ideas in this book slowly and I will never be the same again, because of them.
Renee Claire

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By David Segrove VINE VOICE on June 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
What makes this book so intense is that you know it's real. It is well written, descriptive without being overbearing and detatched enough to give you a fair perspective. The movie runs along similar lines as the book, except the method of execution, and the book delves into far more detail, as you would expect. Although an anti-death penalty activist, Helen Prejean has not written a anti-death penalty book. It's a straightforward narrative that draws the reader in and doesn't let go. She is a very talented lady and you feel a huge respect for what she does. Very compelling reading.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
I am currently attending theological seminary, and the film "Dead Man Walking" inspired me to look into prison ministry. Helen Prejean's personal account of her work at Angola State Prison was even more inspiring than the film. I agree wholeheartedly with her theology that we must love even those who have done evil things, for every human being is a CHILD OF GOD. Jesus Christ called us to love one another, and Prejean firmly practices Christian love in what I believe to be its true sense: loving ALL human beings, regardless of their deeds. Prejean brought to light the corruption of our criminal justice system, and I was shocked but trustworthy of her data. As a first-year seminary student, I identified with her initial fear and uneasiness at entering a project about which she knew little, and I applaud her ability to befriend convicted rapists and murderers honestly, yet without condoning their crimes. I am a Protestant woman studying to become a minister, so in some ways my life will differ from Sister Helen's, but I can only pray for the strength to emulate her, and I thank her for her great inspiration.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By brian@darkwolf.com on September 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
When I started reading this book some years ago, I was staunchly for the death penalty. On the other side, I was staunchly opposed. Such is the power and vibrancy of Helen Prejean's writing. She takes you inside the prison walls, inside the mind of the men who commit these desperate acts, the lives they've destroyed by these acts, and the long trek out of the dark night of evil. For some, the journey ends in forgiveness, for others in a hatred and an emptiness. This book will make this sort of crime and punishment real to anyone that reads it, and whatever opinion formed afterwards will be a better-informed one.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
I had the pleasure of meeting sister Helen quite a few times, and she was an inspiring woman. I have to admit, that before meeting her I had no interest in reviewing my opinion on the death penelty, but after sitting through a few seminars of hers, i decided to read the book. What I found was an inspiring account of friendship between Helen and the inmates, and Helen and the families of the victims. This book rang with truth. It was very informative as well. After reading the book and meeting the amazing woman behind it, I began going to candlelight vigils at Angola(the prison in the book), the night of execution. I now believe completely in her cause, and reccomend this book to anyone who is at all interested in capital punishment, or even human nature.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Heather N. Anderson on July 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I first seen the movie for "Dead Man Walking" a few years ago I was captivated right away by this story of Redemption! I must say however, the book is so much better because in all honesty that blended the stories of Patrick Sonnier & Robert Lee Willie who was also sentenced to die in the electric chair.

This Book has completely changed my view on Capital Punishment. I used to believe in the "Eye for an Eye" Scripture when I read this book it got me to thinking, would Jesus Christ if he were living on earth today would he pull the switch or inject these poisons into someones body? I don't think Christ would do that!

I'm not saying that I don't understand the victim's family's rage and want for revenge because I do. My point is this though Yes, Patrick Sonnier & Robert Lee Willie commited some horrible crimes and I in no way condone what these two men did, however I have learned things about Capital Murder trials that it is more expensive to execute a prisoner than life imprisonment is.

Sister Helen Prejean is a wonderful writer and she draws you into the book. I felt like I was there with Patrick Sonnier & Robert Lee Willie. This book has completely changed everything on my outlook on the subject of the Death Penalty here in the United States and now I do think it should be abolished.

These are just my opinions of course, but if you have ever been torn over the Death Penalty I recommend this book to anyone who can remain open to both sides read this book! The decision is yours on whether you will let it change your heart or not!

My heart has changed!
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Renee Claire on January 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is the most powerful book I have encountered since Merton's Seven Story Mountain. I will never forget it. I needed to absorb the ideas in this book slowly and I will never be the same again, because of them. Sister Helen travels with me in spirit. Yes, prisoners, and murderers are human beings. People have helped me out with my own life. Without their help and without God's grace, I could be on death row, too.
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