Dead Man Walking, the 1995 film exploring capital punishment in the United States, took the nation by storm and garnered an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. Sister Helen Prejean C.S.J., the author behind the book (Vintage Books) that inspired the movie, was a guest of the Kentucky Author Forum in 1996. Prejean, a writer, lecturer, and community organizer, has counseled both death row inmates and surviving family members of murder victims. She is winner of the Champion of Liberty Award from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the 1994 Christopher Book Award.
Sister Helen Prejean was interviewed at Kentucky Author Forum by Stephen Bright, a Danville, Kentucky native and the J. Skelly Wright Fellow at Yale Law School. He teaches courses in capital punishment and has represented persons facing the death penalty at trial, on appeals, and in post-conviction proceedings. Since 1982, Bright has served as director of the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, a public interest legal project which provides representation to those facing the death penalty and to inmates challenging unconstitutional conditions in prisons.