Sister Helen outside Hope House, where her journey to end the death penalty began.

Sister Helen Prejean

Talking about life, death and a burning passion for justice.

The death penalty is one of the great moral issues facing our country, yet most people rarely think about it and very few of us take the time to delve deeply enough into this issue to be able to make an informed decision about it.

This website is my invitation to you to take that time, to learn, to explore and to reflect.

Sr Helen Prejean, csj

Texas executed Ivan Cantu on Feb. 28

I was by his side.

Although we did not save him, the spotlight we placed on the injustices in his case reverberated in the media both here and overseas. It is so rare to see such critical coverage of a Texas execution. Thanks to all of you who acted to try to save Ivan and to expose the flaws in Texas justice.

Ivan Cantu on death row


Sister Helen Prejean visiting people on death row at Angola, Louisiana.

Learn about Sister Helen Prejean

Sister Helen Prejean is known around the world for her tireless work to end the death penalty. Sister Helen has been instrumental in sparking national dialogue on capital punishment and in shaping the Catholic Church’s vigorous opposition to allexecutions. Learn more about her life and work.

Sr. Helen's books

Read Sister Helen's books

Sister Helen Prejean’s first book, Dead Man Walking sparked a national conversation about the death penalty. In The Death of Innocents she showed how deeply flawed the death penalty continues to be. And in River of Fire, Sister Helen takes you on the winding path that led her to be an activist. Get the books.

Organize an event with Sr. Helen

Would you like Sister Helen to speak at your event? She’s available for virtual classes and meetings, and extended ‘Zoom Modules’ built around the reading of one of her books, with extensive, guided participation from attendees. Get started with our speaking request form.

Pope Francis on the death penalty

Pope Francis is building on opposition to the death penalty. Sister Helen has played a part in these developments. Learn more about where the Church stands on the death penalty.

Writing to someone in prison

Writing to someone in prison is a special gift for both of you, but particularly for the one who is incarcerated. So many people in prison, especially those on death row, have little or no contact with people on the outside, so receiving a personal letter is something to treasure.

Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. Here are some pointers.

Sr. Helen in a media scrum

Watch ‘SISTER’

SISTER chronicles Sr. Helen Prejean’s life and work and examines the evolving role of nuns in the 21st Century. The full 90-minute director’s cut is available online and as a free download. Get your friends, workmates, congregation or classmates together and have a watch party.


Get on board the justice train

Music has always played an important role in the struggle for justice. Here’s an invitation to join Sister Helen’s Justice Train.
The Justice Train is a communal playlist, a place to share the music that keeps your spirits up in tough and challenging times. Let’s share the music that reminds us what we’re struggling for! t

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Keep up with the latest news from Sister Helen and the frontiers of justice by subscribing to our newsletter, Death Penalty Discourse.

I'm sociable!

Please join Sister Helen Prejean on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. She’s also now on Mastodon. They’re great places to stay up to date and converse with justice loving types.