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Sister Helen Prejean, of "Dead Man Walking" Fame: A Leading Critic of Capital Punishment

[Aired on Wednesday, February 22nd.] On today's ST, we speak with the sharp and ever-colorful Sister Helen Prejean, 72, who gave a free-to-the-public lecture here at TU last night in the Lorton Performance Center. A longtime and deeply committed critic of capital punishment in America, Sister Helen made a few recent appearances in Tulsa --- last night, today on our show, and elsewhere --- in order to promote Tulsa Opera's new production, "Dead Man Walking," which will open on Saturday the 25th at the Tulsa PAC. This operatic yet accessible work, much like the award-winning, likewise-titled motion picture of 1996, tells the story of how Sisten Helen, a Catholic nun from Louisiana, became the spiritual adviser to one Patrick Sonnier, a convicted murderer, and thereafter witnessed his execution. "Dead Man Walking" was originally an autobiographical book by Sister Helen, who talks about this exciting new opera --- and about the status quo of the death-penalty issue today --- on this edition of our show.

Rich Fisher passed through KWGS about thirty years ago, and just never left. Today, he is the general manager of Public Radio Tulsa, and the host of KWGS’s public affairs program, StudioTulsa, which celebrated its twentieth anniversary in August 2012 . As host of StudioTulsa, Rich has conducted roughly four thousand long-form interviews with local, national, and international figures in the arts, humanities, sciences, and government. Very few interviews have gone smoothly. Despite this, he has been honored for his work by several organizations including the Governor's Arts Award for Media by the State Arts Council, a Harwelden Award from the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, and was named one of the “99 Great Things About Oklahoma” in 2000 by Oklahoma Today magazine.