Dead Man Walking Essay

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Dead Man Walking is a great book that deals with one of our nations most controversial issues: capital punishment. The books narrator, Sister Helen Prejean, discusses her personal views on capital punishment. She was a spiritual advisor and friend to two death row inmates; Elmo Patrick Sonnier and Robert Lee Willie. From her experiences, she developed views on the death penalty. She believed it was morally wrong and spoke openly about it. Sister Helen successfully defends her views on capital punishment while stating that capital punishment should be illegal. Her experiences have taught her that although these criminals were dangerous and deadly, and that their crimes were inexcusable, a
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How could you be in favor of capital punishment if you are unsure in regard to its accuracy? Also, the methods she uses describing Pat’s last night are very convincing and accurate. Sister describes in great detail the shaving of Pat’s head, his final march into the death room, and the guards strapping him down. These descriptions, along with the description of his death, give the reader the idea that this is terribly wrong and inhumane. Sister’s details really made me believe that there are other methods available for dealing with convicted murderers. Death does not have to be one of them.
Sister’s next case was Robert Lee Willie. Although this case also presented a strong argument opposing capital punishment, I did not feel it was as convincing as the Pat Sonnier case. Sister took on this case after the death of Pat, and maybe that had an effect on her ability to be Robert’s spiritual advisor. Her persona in dealing with Robert Willie did not seem as constructed or convincing as her dealings with Sonnier. Although she fought hard for Willie’s life, it seemed like she was content when the Pardon Board made its decision to go along with the sentence of death. She seemed to have the attitude like she knew he was going to die, so why try and fight it. I
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