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Death Penalty

Essay by   •  October 22, 2010  •  974 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,932 Views

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Tim Robbins, who made Dead Man Walking into a film, based on a factual experience about a murderer who was convicted of raping and murdering a man and a woman. Sister Helen Prejean, a nun who looks after Matthew Poncelet, talks to him about issues involving the case, and the look behind other people's point of view. This film has a lot of emotion, especially on the last day because it gives the viewer a feeling of what the prisoner is going through that day, with family being there, his last words and minutes, and spending his last hours alive.

Dead Man Walking shows scenes that are very powerful to the viewer. One scene is where they back flash to when he raped and shot the young boy and girl in the forest. I thought that scene was hard to watch because they show both, Matthew and the other man, raping the girl, as well shooting both. There are scenes though, that is not frightening to watch. At the end of the movie when Poncelet spends his last hours with the family, I thought that must be difficult to never see or talk to them again. I would feel like a disappointment to my family for doing such a horrible thing to two other human beings. Another is when Sister Helen Prejean and Poncelet talk about God and how he is a son of God and cries because he has never been told that before. I thought that was different to cry over something that little, it showed that he was deserted away from important people in his life, such as family and friends.

Sister Helen Prejean is a nun who preaches to both sides of the case, the victim's family, and the convicted murderer. I think this is takes a lot of bravery, because the victim's families want Matthew to die and you have to acknowledge and support both sides. One family becomes offended about the situation, calls him an "animal," and asks her to leave. Sister Helen Prejean must decide how she will manage caring for Matthew Poncelet and while understanding the wrongdoing of his crimes. She becomes a lot closer to Matthew by teaching a preaching about the bible and teachings of Jesus. He looks upon the situation in a different view and confesses that killing is wrong no matter who does it. He becomes more of the situation and takes it a lot more seriously, rather than being a useless prisoner counting down the days until death. While watching the video, I learned things I never knew by watching this movie. I learned that there is a multiple step process that they do on the day of execution and that you are chained down all the time.

Sister Helen Prejean shows examples of being a good role model, because she is not just taking one side of the situation. She teaches both sides, the victim families and the murderer, different teachings from the bible and how doing something wrong you are still a son of god. She still knows what Matthew did was wrong and has to face the death penalty, but is with him through the whole process and they become "best friends." Matthew Poncelet I would not say is a mistake because he was not conscious about bible teachings, but did drugs. I think by hearing the bible teachings and passages, he changed and understood why he is here and more aware



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