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Dead Man Walking?

Cheridan Sanders

Monday, September 7, 2015

Sr Helen meets with the Salt and Light crew just outside the Oklahoma State Legislature
Sr Helen Prejean, CSJ outside the Oklahoma State Legislature. Sr. Helen is asking for a stay of execution for Richard Glossip, a death row prisoner, who will be executed on September 16, 2015. Richard Glossip has maintained his innocence.
I think I may have experienced a minor miracle this week.  I was in the middle of a shoot when I got the call from our Director of Programming. It was an opportunity to cover the story of a death row inmate in Oklahoma City whose life Sister Helen Prejean (of Dead Man Walking ) was campaigning to save.
How we managed to throw together a crew and b-line down to Oklahoma to begin shooting in less than 24 hrs is beyond me, but there we were in Oklahoma City on our way to meet one of the greatest social justice campaigners of our time  
As we turned down the driveway of a quaint little suburban home, we immediately encountered the bright smile and warm words of welcome of Sr. Helen.
As I sat down and listened to how she became Richard Glossip’s (the death row inmate's) spiritual advisor, I realized the enormity of what was taking place.
It turns out there is a good chance that the State might put an innocent man to death.
Richard throughout his 18 years of incarceration has maintained his innocence and even though he was given the opportunity to save his life by admitting guilt, he chose to affirm his innocence and risk death rather than confess to a crime he asserts he didn’t commit. In a recent statement, Richard said he didn’t want to die, but at the same time he is willing to die if his death prevents others from facing the same fate.  Surprising words from the apparent mastermind of a cold-blooded murder.
The following day we joined Sr. Helen at the Oklahoma State Legislature as she fielded questions from reporters and later on as she (on behalf of the Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty) submitted a petition of more than 269 000 names to Governor Fallin’s representative asking for a stay of execution. The 60 day stay would allow for new evidence to be presented in court so that they could ‘prove’ Glossip’s innocence.
Take a minute and read this article on the whole thing.
The stakes here are very high and a man’s life hangs in the balance. Please keep Richard and Sr. Helen in your prayers.  I will keep you posted as things develop.   

CherdianS1The Producer Diaries
Cheridan Sanders, a Producer at Salt and Light Television, reflects on her experiences as she travels the world telling Catholic’s stories.

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