[CUA Office of Public Affairs]                                                                        

Jan. 8, 2001


Two Experts to Speak on Abortion and the Death Penalty

Two nationally known experts will engage in a dialogue on abortion and the death penalty at CUA's Columbus School of Law auditorium on Thursday, January 11, 2001, at 4:30 p.m. 

The 90-minute presentation, entitled "Abortion and the Death Penalty:  A Conversation," will feature Sister Helen Prejean, C.S.J., author of the best-selling book Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States and Helen Alvaré, Columbus School of Law associate professor and former national spokeswoman on abortion and pro-life issues for the U.S. Catholic bishops.

"Sister Helen and I have participated in many of the same conferences but we've never had this dialogue before nor have I ever seen these two issues combined as the subject of a public forum," said Ms. Alvaré.  "She and I have focused on the pro-life question at different ends of the life continuum, so I look forward to comparing our perspectives.  It should make for a fascinating conversation," Alvaré added.

Sister Prejean has been an advocate to end the death penalty since 1984, when she witnessed the electrocution of Patrick Sonnier, for whom she was a spiritual advisor.  Her book spent 31 weeks on The New York Times best-seller list, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and was adapted into an Oscar-winning movie.  In 1994, Sister Prejean received the Christopher Award for Artistic Excellence and the American Liberty Award for Notable Book of the Year.

Before joining Catholic University’s law school, Ms. Alvaré worked at the National Conference of Catholic Bishops as director of information and planning for the Pro-Life Office and gained national prominence speaking about pro-life issues on behalf of the American bishops in public lectures, before Congressional committees and to the media. Ms. Alvaré holds a juris doctorate from Cornell University and a master's degree in theology from Catholic University.

The presentation is part of the law school's Brendan F. Brown Lecture series and is co-sponsored by the school’s Advocates for Life and Pope John Paul II Guild of Catholic Lawyers student organizations.

Founded in 1897, Catholic University’s law school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. The school is a pioneer in clinical education and is distinguished for offering one of the nation’s broadest ranges of clinical experiences to students. In addition, the law school is widely recognized for special programs in communications law, law and public policy, law and religion, and comparative and international law.

NOTE:  Press coverage is invited.  Media wishing to attend should call Frank Grosso at 202-319-5491 or Victor Nakas at 202-319-5600.




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Revised: Jan. 08, 2001

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