Dead Man Walking Chapter 14


Dead Man Walking (Chapter 1-4) Essay, Research Paper

Chapter 1-4 Question 1-31. Sr. Prejean originally goes to see Pat Sonnier because Chara Colen from thePrison Coalition asked her to become a pen pal to a death row inmate. She continues to write then eventually goes to see him because she senses an essential humanness in him, and weight of his loneliness and abandonment, draws her to him. As time goes on she also continues to see him because of her fight against injustices and her not wanting to see the wrong man put to death with out a fair trial.2. I think that Patt Sonniers background had a big effect on the way he turned out. Ithink that his childhood with his mother, his adulthood, and surroundings all attributed to putting him in the position that he is in. I also think because of what he learned growing up and his ability to deal with life also help him deal with life in prison and remain composed at all times. I really would not consider this a mitigating circumstance in any way. I believe that someone s background in no excuse for the deeds one performs whether good or bad.3. In this book I found a lot of reference s to the legal system. It describes not onlyhow the legal is unjust to death row prisoners but also how it promotes the environment that helps to bring up such violent criminals. In chapter one Sr. Prejean exposes the reader to some of the basic imperfections of the government, she begins whit discussing some of the reasons how the government breeds and foster these types of criminals and then she introduces you the history of death penalty it s self. She first discusses the St. Thomas projects that she works in and how due to the welfare system and lack of good paying jobs it is almost impossible for anyone to get out of the system. She also makes to reference to how instead of fixing the problem President Reagan is cutting funding to programs that could help like child and prenatal care, low income housing, employment food subsidies, etc. And the Louisiana is putting more money into the prison system. In chapter one she also discusses about the history of the death penalty in the United States and some of the past and present legal issues associated with it.In the first opening pages of chapter 2 she begins by telling us about the severity of the sentencing in Louisiana that is aimed at reducing career criminals but instead creates career convicts with no hope. She gives more details of the type of life a prisoner lives in Angola Prison. She also discuses more of the injustices of the legal system and their handling of criminals and how even though they may have a trial it may not be a fair one.

In chapter three she further goes in to the contents of this unfair trial and how hard it is to undo any of what was wrong. She begins with talking about how if your trial attorney is inadequate and does not bring up certain critical points, it is basically to late for those points to be raised in court. In this chapter she really tears the court systems apart and unveils many of its deadly imperfections. For example: how it is impossible for a person to receive a effective assistance of counsel because they have such an impossible procedural structure, also the way in which court appointed counsel is received they may not even be equipped for these types of cases and that they are so interested in speeding up executions it doesn t matter that they are running all over peoples constitutional rights; just to name a few. And what is even worse is that in order for any of this to make a difference to the criminal it is necessary to prove intentional bias, which is very hard to do.Finally in the fourth chapter she begins to deal with how the legal system can be influence by others who sometime have little to do with. Such as interest groups, church, influential people, etc. Another important thing that she points out in this chapter is how the prisoner are sometimes not even aloud to speak at their own pardon hearing. Lastly she speaks about the effects that this system as on the people who work in it who are in charge of keeping them in line, how they are kept in isolation themselves almost like the prisoners they watch.In conclusion the first four chapters of this book point a lot of imperfections in our legal system. In every chapter she s to point out how hard it is to get out of these bad situations. These chapter don t offer a lot of suggestions for reform, they serve more as a source of information to help you to understand why what is happening the book is such an injustice.

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