Prejean to discuss death penalty at Nash Memorial Lecture

Posted: March 4, 2015 12:20 p.m.

Sister Helen Prejean
Sister Helen Prejean Photo courtesy of Sister Helen Prejean

Sister Helen Prejean, a leading opponent of the death penalty, is the guest speaker for the annual Nash Memorial Lecture, presented by Campion College at the University of Regina.

Prejean has been instrumental in creating a national dialogue in the United States about the death penalty and contributing to the Catholic Church's vigorous opposition to state executions.

Since 1984, Prejean has divided her time between educating people about the death penalty and counseling death row prisoners. Her first book, Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States, documents her experience as a spiritual advisor to death row inmate Patrick Sonnier at Angola. The book inspired the movie Dead Man Walking in 1995.

Prejean has accompanied six men to their deaths. In doing so, she began to suspect that some of those executed were not guilty. This realization inspired her second book, The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions.

“We are honoured to have Sister Helen Prejean deliver this year’s Nash Memorial Lecture,” says Dr. John Meehan, S.J., president, Campion College. “One of the key values of Jesuit education is the promotion of social justice and reconciliation within our society. As a prominent figure in the debate on capital punishment, Sr. Helen brings to light the injustices within the system that most commonly affect marginalized groups within our society”.

The Nash Memorial Lecture Series was founded in 1979 by Joseph B. Gavin, SJ, PhD, to honour the first president of Campion College at the University of Regina, Fr. E. Peter W. Nash, SJ, PhD (1913-1997). The series is delivered annually and invites distinguished scholars from around the world. Previous Nash lecturers include Vatican Astronomer Br. Guy Consolmagno, SJ, Bishop Donald Bolen, and photo journalist Fr. Don Doll, SJ.

This public event, presented by our federated partner institution Campion College, demonstrates the University of Regina’s Commitment to Our Communities – one of the University’s strategic priorities, as outlined in the new strategic plan,  

Nash Memorial Lecture
“Dead Man Walking: The Journey Continues”
Speaker: Sister Helen Prejean
Thursday, March 5, 7:30 p.m. (Book sales and signing will follow the lecture)
Education Auditorium, Education Building
University of Regina