DePaul University Library’s Special Collections and Archives recently created a teaching kit for Dead Man Walking: The Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty That Sparked a National Debate by Sister Helen Prejean. The library houses Prejean’s papers and twenty primary sources were selected for the kit to deepen the reading experience.
Developed by members of DePaul’s College of Education, the kit includes:
- Teacher’s guide with subject-specific discussion questions (English, Sociology, and Theater)
- Downloadable primary sources, that correspond to specific chapters
- Brief biographies to provide context
- Additional resources on the death penalty
In Dead Man Walking, Sister Prejean takes readers inside the United States’ death penalty system and asks how can a society benefit from replicating the violence it condemns. In 1982, she became the spiritual advisor to Patrick Sonnier, convicted of the murder of two teenagers and sentenced to die in the electric chair of Louisiana’s Angola State Prison. To date it has been selected by 15 Common Reading programs and has also been made into an award-winning film directed by Tim Robbins and starring Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon.
To learn more about this teaching kit, visit: https://spca.depaul.press/prejean/
Banner image credits: Sr. Helen Prejean at Hope House by David Rea Morris/Impact Visuals, undated; artwork by Ed Morgan, Jr., award presented to Sr. Helen Prejean by the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights and Bill of Rights Foundation, 2007; photograph of Sr. Helen Prejean taken during the filming of Angel of Death Row, PBS Frontline documentary, 1995