Sister Helen Prejean, author of "Dead Man Walking" and "Death of Innocents," and Jeanne Bishop, Cook County Assistant Public Defender, shared their inspiring stories of becoming advocates against the death penalty at the "Journey to Forgiveness" luncheon event on April 23.
Prejean’s journey began after she met an inmate who was later executed. Hearing his story and witnessing his execution deepened her commitment to educating the public about capital punishment and pushing for its abolishment. During law school, Bishop was a committed opponent of the death penalty through her involvement with Amnesty International. After members of her family were murdered by a teenager in 1990, Bishop became an outspoken advocate for the power of forgiveness and rehabilitation as positive alternatives to capital punishment.
Following their stories, Assistant Dean Andrea Lyon, author of “Angel of Death Row: My Life as a Death Penalty Defense Lawyer,” led a discussion with the audience of students, faculty and staff. The conversation revolved around the need for the community to advocate for effective deterrence policies and programs, as well as reaffirmed the panelists’ commitment to seeking justice through means other than the death penalty.
The event was sponsored by the Center for Justice in Capital Cases, Center for Public Interest Law and University Ministry.