Sister Helen Prejean is a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Medaille and lives in Louisiana. She gives on average 140 lectures a year nationwide, seeking to encourage discussion of the death penalty. She is the author of Dead Man Walking. The article in this issue is adapted from her new book, The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions, to be published by Random House this month. (January 2005)

IN THE REVIEW

Death in Texas

In the twenty-first century, a state governor represents the last vestige of the “divine right of kings,” because he has absolute power over life and death—especially when such power is entrusted to politicians motivated more by expediency than by conscience. Faced with a pending execution, no governor wants to appear …