On March 3rd, PJI Attorney, Mercedes Montagnes, presented at the Loyola University New Orleans College of Law panel for Dead Man Walking The Opera: At the Intersection of Law, Art, and the Death Penalty.
Sister Helen Prejean’s book Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty brought national attention to the Death Penalty, and was later made into an award-winning film. In 2000, the San Francisco Opera created an opera based on the book and movie. Loyola University New Orleans created a symposium including author Sister Helen Prejean, the art director of the opera, Robert Lyall, tenured Loyola professor and PJI board member, Andrea Armstrong, John Thompson, Bill Quigley, and Mercedes Montagnes, to discuss the evolution of the death penalty, lived experiences on death row, and the powerful impacts that art can have in creating justice.
Attorney Montagnes discussed extreme heat conditions on death row, solitary confinement, the state of lethal injection in Louisiana, as well as the lack of medical care that men and women on death row and other incarcerated people live with every day as they seek relief.