This week in 1984

April 5th, 2015 by admin

“I have no hatred in my heart, and as I leave this world, I ask
God to forgive what . . . I have done.”

— Elmo Patrick Sonnier, convicted of murder, electric chair, Louisiana.
Executed April 5, 1984

Sister Helen Prejean wrote her book “Dead Man Walking” about Sonnier and convicted murderer Robert Lee Willie, and they were the basis for a composite character played by Sean Penn in the film adaptation of the book. Prejean became spiritual adviser to both men when they were imprisoned for their crimes: Sonnier was convicted of murdering a teenage couple in a sugarcane field in New Iberia. Willie was convicted of raping and murdering an eighteen-year-old woman. He was executed at a later date.

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