43 minutes | Jan 15, 2021

Episode 156: Sister Helen

In 1982, Sister Helen Prejean was invited to write a letter to a man on death row in Louisiana’s Angola State Prison named Elmo Patrick Sonnier. She told us, “I thought that all I was going to be doing was writing letters. And lo and behold, two years later, I am in that execution chamber.” She’s now 81, and has been present at the executions of six men. Sister Helen’s book, Dead Man Walking, is about her time as a spiritual advisor to Elmo Patrick Sonnier and Robert Lee Willie. It was adapted into a movie starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn. For a transcript of this episode, send an email to transcripts@thisiscriminal.com with the episode name and number. Say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for our occasional newsletter, The Accomplice. Artwork by Julienne Alexander. Check out our online shop.  Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Please review us on Apple Podcasts! It’s an important way to help new listeners discover the show: iTunes.com/CriminalShow.  We also make This is Love and Phoebe Reads a Mystery.
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