Sister Helen on Social Media

 

Sister Helen Prejean
Sister Helen Prejean
“I do not think that God approves the death penalty for any crime, rape and murder included. Capital punishment is against the better judgment of modern criminology, and, above all, against the highest expression of love in the nature of God.” #MLKDay
Sister Helen Prejean
Sister Helen Prejean
Gerald Pizzuto is a terminal cancer patient and receives hospice care. Idaho's parole board recommended that his death sentence be commuted to life without parole. Governor Brad Little rejected the recommendation instantly last Thursday.
Sister Helen Prejean
Sister Helen Prejean
Today I am mourning the loss of Desmond Tutu, a moral rock amidst tumultuous times. Many of you will have a special place in your heart for Archbishop Tutu, whose compassion, dignity, leadership and moral clarity have been a beacon to millions for generations.

I was fortunate enough to connect with him in our opposition to the death penalty. Archbishop Tutu wrote the preface to the 20th anniversary edition of Dead Man Walking, and I'd like to share some of that preface here, because it shows how closely interlinked are our many struggles to recognize the human dignity of all.

"At the height of apartheid, South Africa had the third highest judicial execution rate in the world, killing 1,109 people on death row between 1980 and 1989. Then a moratorium was declared, and a year after Nelson Mandela became president, in 1995, we abolished the death penalty. We were making the connections between the various types of violence and injustice, trying to create a new, more nonviolent nation.

"As we held our national 'Truth and Reconciliation Commission' hearings and worked to rebuild our country, people around the world were making the same connections about the death penalty—how racist, unfair, and broken it is—and slowly a new global movement for the abolition of the death penalty began. At the heart of that movement was Dead Man Walking, this extraordinary, moving, historic book by Sister Helen Prejean.

"Sister Helen tells her story of writing to someone on death row, then visiting him, and then entering the world of 'capital punishment.' She met several condemned men and then the families of their victims. Through it all, she began to speak out and organize against the death penalty and, after recognizing her failure, also reached out to offer healing help to victims’ families...

"...As spiritual advisor to the condemned, Sister Helen managed to do what I myself would have liked to do for the hundreds of persons hanged in Pretoria prison on Friday mornings: say to them as they died, “Look at my face—I will be the face of Christ for you.” Indeed, the entire book is a journey to this moment. Being the face of Christ to a criminal being put to death by the state presupposes his own dignity as a human person even though he may, indeed, be guilty of a terrible crime. I love the words Sister Helen has been quoted many times as saying: “Everyone is worth more than the worst act of his or her life.”...

"...I sympathize with Sister Helen because during the 'Truth and Reconciliation Commission' hearings, we in South Africa tried to listen to those on all sides: first, our black sisters and brothers—and our white sisters and brothers as well—who lost loved ones and suffered under the evil apartheid system; and then, the victimizers, the white perpetrators of apartheid and their black collaborators, who tortured and killed so many of our black and white sisters and brothers. We too are learning the lessons of compassion, as we strive for a new culture of justice, nonviolence and reconciliation. We are learning the simple but hard lesson that killing those who kill is not the way to show that murder is wrong. We show this by forgiving...

"...Throughout the story, I notice how Sister Helen refuses to be passive. She resists state executions, she organizes, she gets on the road and educates, she founds a group of real people to reach out to victims’ families...

"...I hope everyone... will join the global movement to abolish the death penalty once and for all, so that we can get on with the challenging work of tackling poverty, sexism, racism, and economic unfairness, which are the seedbeds of violence.

"Maybe one day, we’ll look back at Dead Man Walking as one of the historic turning points that brought an end to the death penalty around the world. May it be so."
Sister Helen Prejean
Sister Helen Prejean
A CHRISTMAS MESSAGE FROM SISTER HELEN
The humble Christ was born in a stable among the lowly ones and shared their fate by being killed on a cross. He spent his life blessing and lifting up poor and oppressed people, urging us to follow his example.

In company with our Sisters of St Joseph in West Virginia, who serve many of West Virginia's poor and struggling people, I ask you to join my Sisters and me in sending WV Senator Joe Manchin a Christmas or New Year's card, urging him to help lift children out of poverty by supporting the Build Back Better bill.

A blessed Christmas to our brother Joe and to all of you, from me.

Send your card to:
Senator Joe Manchin
900 Pennsylvania Ave., Ste 629
Charleston, WV 25302
Sister Helen Prejean
Sister Helen Prejean
Sister Helen Prejean
It's very disappointing to see Japan continue to carry out these highly secretive executions in spite of the global movement away from capital punishment:
Sister Helen Prejean
Sister Helen Prejean
I'm being auctioned off! Well, not quite, but you could score a double whammy: win a private Zoom with me *and* support the dedicated work of @ACLU_SoCal defending and preserving civil rights and liberties. It's the ACLU of Southern California's annual charity auction. Bid now on me - I'm lot 2277442. 🙂 @Charitybuzz

If you want to understand racial disparities in U.S. jails and prisons, look at how they start in the juvenile system.

Black children are only 14% of children under 18.

But 42% of boys and 35% of girls locked up are Black.
https://www.prisonpolicy.org/reports/youth2019.html

EXCLUSIVE: Richard Branson speaks to @VICEWorldNews about his strong objections with Singapore's continued pro-execution stance to disabled death row prisoner Nagaenthran. "The government would do very well just to get rid of the death penalty altogether.” https://www.vice.com/en/article/3abv9b/richard-branson-singapore-death-penalty

New Mexico has 1/3rd the number of public defenders necessary to meet caseload, study finds

That's 602 attorneys short! And that # doesn't include crucial support staff.

https://bit.ly/3FPdaYs

In 16 states, a person sentenced to prison today will have no hope of earning early release because their state prison system has abolished parole.

Compare your state's parole system to other states with our 2019 report:
https://www.prisonpolicy.org/reports/grading_parole.html https://twitter.com/NCRonline/status/1483829526362824707

NCR @NCRonline

Pope Francis issued a plea on behalf of prison inmates, saying they should never be deprived of hope and always be given the opportunity to redeem themselves.
https://ncr.media/3qJssKk

"Repealing the death penalty in Utah is a critical step to building a deeper culture of life across our state," writes Bishop Oscar A. Solis.
https://trib.al/A5MjING

I'm a few days late, but congratulations to the people of the Northern Mariana Islands on at least 44 years without the death penalty! The CNMI Constitution took effect on January 9, 1978, and states that "capital punishment is prohibited."

Join Cardinal Wilton Gregory, archbishop of @WashArchdiocese, and @helenprejean as they discuss the #deathpenalty in the US in a webinar presented by RENEW and @WashArchdiocese. Tues Feb 1 at 4 PM.
Register NOW at https://pages.renewintl.org/dignity-prejeangregory-2

#CapitalPunishment #faith #catholic

A bill pending in the New Mexico legislature would prohibit juvenile life without parole sentences. Under SB 43, children sentenced as adults would be eligible for parole review after 15 years and, if denied parole at that time, every 5 years until released.

The Washington County Detention Center deceived incarcerated individuals needing medical care, administering doses of Ivermectin – a drug primarily used by veterinarians as a horse dewormer.

We are suing.

https://www.acluarkansas.org/en/press-releases/aclu-arkansas-files-federal-lawsuit-behalf-incarcerated-individuals-given-ivermectin

Today, Cook County Judge Erica L. Reddick granted Certificates of Innocence for five victims of disgraced former CPD Sgt. Ronald Watts: George Almond, Darnell Howard, Darnell Harris, Maurice Harris, and Willie Roberson. Photo by Teddy Gonzales. #ronaldwatts #cpd #chicago

Amber Ortega was arrested for protesting the destruction of an O’odham sacred site during border wall construction in 2020. She was shackled, strip-searched, and held without access to a lawyer for 24 hours at a for-profit jail. Today, a federal judge found Ortega not guilty.

Amber Ortega was arrested for protesting the destruction of an O’odham sacred site during border wall construction in 2020. She was shackled, strip-searched, and held without access to a lawyer for 24 hours at a for-profit jail. Today, a federal judge found Ortega not guilty.
Alisa Zaira Reznick @AlisaReznick

Cheers erupt from a group of supporters as Amber Ortega exits the federal courthouse in Tucson after being found not guilty for her actions along the border wall September 2020.

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“Although I have suffered the loss of two family members by assassination, I remain firmly and unequivocally opposed to the death penalty … Justice is never advanced in the taking of a human life. Morality is never upheld by legalized murder.” —Coretta Scott King #MLKDay ...

“I do not think that God approves the death penalty for any crime, rape and murder included. Capital punishment is against the better judgment of modern criminology, and, above all, against the highest expression of love in the nature of God.” #mlkday ...

I'm being auctioned off alongside some notables! Well, not quite, but you could score a double whammy: win a private Zoom with me *and* support the dedicated work of @aclu_socal defending and preserving civil rights and liberties. It's the ACLU of Southern California's annual charity auction. Bid now on me - I'm lot 2277442. 🙂 @charitybuzz ...

On a day of sorrow as Mississippi recommenced executions after a long hiatus; on a day of mingled hope and apprehension as we wait - still wait - for Gov. Stitt to decide whether he'll abide by his pardon board's recommendation and commute Julius Jones' death sentence; on this hard day, there is cause for celebration as Henry Montgomery walks free from Angola Prison after 57 years, 9 months, 2 weeks and 2 days of incarceration.

Henry was imprisoned as a juvenile, just 17 years old, and now, thanks to committed work by the Louisiana Parole Project and others, Henry is free once more.
...

Oklahomans:
If you can make it, please attend the ALL HANDS ON DECK rally for Julius Jones tomorrow, 4 pm at the Oklahoma History Center in OKC. @govkevinstitt needs to see that there is a critical mass demanding clemency and justice.
...

On this #WorldDayAgainstTheDeathPenalty, we are focused on the invisible reality of women sentenced to death. I’m thinking about Lisa Montgomery. Lisa’s entire life was a tragedy from before she left her mother’s womb until the federal government killed her this past January. ...

Ernest Johnson should not have been executed tonight. He was intellectually disabled and categorically ineligible for the death penalty. Ernest was a human being. He committed a terrible crime and was deeply remorseful. This was not justice. ...

This is a scan of Ernest Johnson’s brain. There is a hole in his skull and more than 20% of his brain tissue has been removed. The Missouri Supreme Court thinks it is acceptable to execute this man. I don’t. ...

Troy Davis was executed 10 years ago today in Georgia. His case was an inflection point, showing the world that innocent people can be and are put to death in America. The fight for justice continues. ...

Thanks for dropping the link last week, @jeopardy! ...

Congratulations to the people of Sierra Leone! ...

Please join me for a (virtual) conversation about restorative justice this Sunday, June 20th at 5:30 pm ET! Tickets are $25 per device and all proceeds will benefit the Dismas House of Vermont. ...