On death row

Cathy and Helen at Gatesville

On Death Row

Since the reintroduction of the death penalty in 1976 we have executed over 1200 men and women here in the USA, the vast majority of those executions taking place in the South. Right now, there are more than 3200 people sitting on death rows across the country, awaiting execution.

I have accompanied six men to their executions. Currently, I am spiritual advisor to two death row inmates, Cathy Henderson in Gatesville, Texas and Manuel Ortiz, at Angola Prison in Louisiana.

Manuel and Sister Helen January 2009The death penalty is supposed to be reserved for the “worst of the worst”. One thing I know for sure: neither Cathy nor Manuel qualifies for this label. Cathy received a death sentence for what was, I believe, a terrible accident. Manuel has spent 18 years on death row for a crime his lawyers are convinced he did not commit. I am convinced of his innocence, too.

We have set up websites for Cathy Henderson and for Manuel Ortiz. You can learn more about their cases and find out how to write to them to offer your prayers and support.