Our blog has moved, and is new and improved.

You should be automatically redirected in 3 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sister Helen Prejean tells UST law students: 'Your profession is precious'

Sister Helen Prejean, author and anti-death penalty activist, spoke with passion and compassion to a group of University of St. Thomas School of Law students and faculty yesterday. She was presented with the Dignitatis Humanae Award, the law school's highest honor, for her work in recognizing the dignity of each individual. Her appearance was sponsored by the student chapter of the American Constitution Society and the law school.

Prejean, who was featured in the movie “Dead Man Walking,” discussed the ways in which she said the U.S. Supreme Court has facilitated executions. One example she cited was Strickland v. Washington, which she argued set unreasonable tests for determining ineffective assistance of counsel in capital cases. She also mentioned McClesky v. Kemp, which said that in order to prove racial bias in a capital case the defendant must prove discriminatory purpose, rejecting statistical evidence as a means of showing bias.

Prejean told the students: “You are in a precious profession. When you build your professional house, make sure there’s a room for poor people who have no one to speak for them. Our country needs you.” She also quoted the Trappist monk Thomas Merton: “When the world ends it will be legal.”

No comments: