Dead man walking 1995 CD1
-Hi, Sister. -Hi, Billie Jean. How you doing?
lt's the late Sister Helen.
l've got a note from my mama, ldella. Do you need a new notebook?
-Thanks. -How about you, Melvin?
The resident council wants us at their meeting tomorrow.
-Can you be there at 7:00? -Yes.
-New poetry books. -Your poem got all smudged.
Sister Helen, l got another letter from that guy.
-Which guy is that, Luis? -Angola inmate, death row.
-Oh, yeah. -Could you write to him?
Sounds like he could use some friendly words.
-l'll come up after the class. -Okay.
-lt got smudged. -You can still read it.
''There's a woman standing there in the dark.
And she's got big arms to hold you.
But you won't feel those arms that hug...
... till you can see her face.
So you stand there waiting for the light at the end of the road. ''
Idella, that is so fine.
''My lawyer seems to have disappeared, so I need help on the legal end.
But if you can't do that, I'd take a kind word or a visit.
Gets real quiet here sometimes. ''
None of these guys on the row can afford an attorney for appeals.
You can imagine the calls we get from death row inmates...
-...begging us to find attorneys. -Who'll work for free.
Right. These petitions take hours to prepare.
Attorneys aren't exactly lining up for the job.
''Dear Sister Helen, thank you for writing to me.
I'm writing from my home.: my 6-by-8-foot cell.
I'm in here 23 hours a day.
We don't work on death row.
We're special here. They keep us away from the general population.
We're the elite because we gonna fry.
It's hard not to get soft here.
I press my footlocker, lift it, to try to get my muscles in shape.
It's hard not to get fat.
Rice, potatoes, pancakes, beans.
Sometimes I feel like a sow on a farm...
... that's being fattened up for a Christmas slaughter.
I dreamt once that I was about to be fried in the chair...
...and then God come into my cell with a chef's hat on.
He rolled me around in bread crumbs, licking His chops and all.
Maybe I'm a weirdo to have dreams like that...
...but your mind does funny things when you're surrounded...
...by people that want to kill you.
Anyway, thanks for writing.
I don't get many letters or visitors either.
No one in my family seems able to make the trip out here. I understand.
It's a long drive from Slidell. ''
-Good morning. -Good morning, Father.
-Sister.... -Helen Prejean. Nice to meet you.
-Have a seat. -Thank you.
-Have you been in a prison before? -No, Father.
Sister Clement and l sang at the New Orleans Juvenile Detention Center.
We sang ''Kumbaya,'' and the boys really liked it.
They made up their own verses, singing:
Someone's escaping, my Lord
The guards made us sing a different song.
Where is your habit?
Our Sisters haven't worn the habit for 20 years.
You are aware of the papal request regarding nuns' garments, aren't you?
l believe the pope said ''distinctive clothing,'' not habits.
Well, l'm sure you'll interpret it in your own way. Whatever's convenient.
l remember him from the news.
Him and another fella...
...shot two children in the back of the head on Lover's Lane.
Raped the girl.
Stabbed her several times.
Do you know what you're getting into?
So, what is it, Sister?
He wrote me and asked me to come.
There is no romance here, Sister.
No Jimmy Cagney ''l've been wrongly accused.
lf l only had someone who believed in me'' nonsense.
They are all con men.
And they will take advantage of you every way they can.
You must be very, very careful.
Do you understand?
These men don't see many females.
For you to wear the habit might help instill respect.
For you to flout authority will only encourage them to do the same.
Woman on the tier!
You can wait there. We'll bring your man out for you.
Well, Matthew, l made it.
Thanks for coming, ma'am.
Never thought l'd be visiting with no nun.
So you're a nun.
l'm here to listen. Whatever you want to talk about is fine.
You're very sincere.
What do you mean?
You never done this before.
-Never been this close to a murderer? -Not that l know of.
Lots of niggers down where you live.
They knock each other off like beer cans off a fence.
When l got your letter, l seen Helen on it.
l thought it was my ex-old lady. Almost ripped it up.
She turned me in. She called the cops.
-Orphaned our kid, the stupid bitch. -You've got a kid?
-Yeah, a con with a kid. -Girl or boy?
-Girl. -What's her name?
-You ask a lot of questions. -l don't know you.
Yeah, well, never mind.
Your letter said you work with the poor.
Your daddy was a lawyer? You come from money, don't you?
And you live in St. Thomas Projects? l don't know who's crazier, you or me.
-l live where l work. -Yeah, in the slum.
What about you?
l live here.
You were brought up poor?
Ain't nobody with money on death row.
You and l have something in common.
-What's that? -We both live with the poor.
Ain't you gonna ask me what l done?
-The chaplain filled me in. -Oh, Farley?
Yeah, well, he's a very religious man.
l didn't kill nobody.
-Carl went crazy on me. -Carl?
Vitello. He ought to be sitting here. He went nuts on me.
l was scared. Did what he said, held that boy back. He killed them.
You watched him kill these kids?
l'll tell you the truth, ma'am.
Me and Carl were loaded on downs, acid, booze when this happened.
l hadn't slept in two nights. l was out of my head.
But l didn't kill them.
l didn't kill nobody. l swear to God l didn't.
-Ali? -Her name.
Yeah, she's 1 1 or 1 2, l don't know.
She was born first time l was in prison. l seen her once.
When was that?
When she was 3.
-Do you write her? -l don't know where she is.
She's in Texas somewhere. Foster parents.
Go on and finish up now, Sister.
They're about to go on a killing spree here.
They're zapping this guy Tobias tonight.
Guards are taking bets on who's next.
l'm at even odds. lt's not good.
l got two chances: a pardon board or a federal appeals court.
l wrote the motion on the appeal, but l need someone to file it.
Can you help me with that?
You know how to write a motion?
You got no choice, you learn the law real fast.
Call it special motivation. l've been on death row six years.
l studied every law book l could get my hands on.
l got this stuff about my case: trial transcripts, legal papers.
They might help you get ahold of my case faster.
You drop a dime and get a lawyer, we can file a motion for appeal.
-You ain't coming back. -Are these your only copies?
No, but they're hard to come by. l don't want to waste them.
l'll do my best. And l appreciate your trust.
l'll tell you, l don't trust nobody in here.
But you don't kiss my ass or preach that hellfire brimstone crap.
I respect that.
You got guts.
You live in a neighborhood with every nigger carrying a gun.
Come on, Helen, hit it!
Playing possum, huh?
Think you can trick us, you dumb animal?
Think you can fool us?
How fast was l going?
-Seventy-five miles an hour, ma'am. -Wow.
-You a nun? -Yes, sir.
Never gave a ticket to no nun before.
Gave a ticket to a guy from the lRS one time.
Got audited the next year.
Tell you what, Sister, l'll let this slide.
-But keep your speed down. -Yes, sir.
On Friday night, Walter Delacroix, age 1 7, and Hope Percy, 1 8...
...had been two happy people celebrating a life-turning point.
They were shot twice at close range in the back of the head with a .22 rifle.
In addition to murder, Poncelet and Vitello face six counts...
...of aggravated kidnapping and one charge of aggravated rape.
--handcuff the man and molest--
--four weeks before the murder the two men allegedly cut...
...a wide path of terror across the area.
A police spokesman said today, in the wake of the murders--
Poncelet addressed the judge as ''Cap''...
...and smirked when they found him guilty of murder today.
Poncelet claims Vitello killed both of them.
-Y'all think he's lying. -Vitello accuses Poncelet.
Both say the other did the killing. Somebody's lying to somebody.
They were both there. We know that.
Then how is it possible one guy gets life, the other death?
Probably a stronger case against Poncelet.
Vitello had a better lawyer.
Created a reasonable doubt in the jury's mind.
And Vitello gets life, Poncelet death.
He needs help, Sister.
There's a lawyer, Hilton Barber.
He's aware of the case, told me no. Maybe you can change his mind.
With the aim of a new trial and getting him out?
l'm not sure l want to run into this guy on the street.
He's not getting off. He was an accomplice. That's life.
Life sentences in a Louisiana prison is for real.
l'm trying to stop the State from killing him.
You want out?
lt's cool with me.
You don't have to go back there.
Get tough on sentencing. Get tough on lenient parole boards.
Get tough on judges who pass light sentences.
-Hello. -Sister Helen?
-Who's this? -Matt Poncelet.
I know I'm on death row, but there's guys been here years and years.
I didn't know this was coming. They set a date.
-For what? -They're gonna kill me.
It's gonna go down on the 1 3th.
You need a lawyer to get a pardon hearing.
I'd do it myself if they'd let me. But they say, ''No lawyer, no hearing. ''
l think l know of a lawyer that may be able to help you.
And l'll do my best, all right?
Sister, come through for me. You're all I got.
They got me on a greased rail to the death house.
I ain't heard from you. You ain't fading out on me, are you?
l'll get you the lawyer. Just try not to worry.
-l'll call you soon. -All right. Bye.
As far as I'm concerned, it's time the State got with the program.
Call me sentimental, but I'd rather see him fry.
Barring any last-minute appeals or stays...
...he'll die under the State's new execution procedure.: lethal injection.
-Hello. -Luis, this is Helen.
l need the name of that lawyer you wanted me to talk to.
-How long you been doing this? -Doing this?
-Counseling death row inmates. -l'm not counseling him.
-l hardly know him, just met him once. -What's your impression?
l don't know if l like him.
He needs help. Best thing was to bring him to you.
Well, l'll do my best.
Courts don't want to hear appeals on death penalty cases.
You can even have new evidence of innocence...
...and the court won't hear the case. We're the pariahs. We're--
''Have many rabbit.''
Think that's a ''for sale'' sign or a cry for help?
Or is it bragging?
lmagine that poor guy.
Bought two rabbits a year ago and now he's overrun.
Coming like popcorn.
Day before the governor runs for reelection...
...they set a date for my execution. Show how tough he is on crime.
l agree with you. Politics did play a big part in this decision.
But the pardon board isn't a place to bring it up.
-Why not? -lt's full of political appointees.
They don't want to hear some convicted killer telling them they is bunk.
We have to present you as a person and convince them to spare your life.
We have to prove l'm innocent.
We'll file appeals with the federal and supreme courts...
...but this is a pardon board.
They won't care if you shot the gun. They'll be thinking of the crime.
And of you as a monster.
lt's easy to kill a monster but hard to kill a human being.
We need people like your mama...
...to speak on your behalf. She should be there.
She'll just cry till she can't say nothing, she gonna be so torn up.
Be that as it may, your mama should be there.
-She'll hear the Delacroixs, the-- -lf she's not there--
Excuse me for butting in.
You're right, it's gonna be upsetting for her.
But she's your mama, Matthew. Your mama.
She should have the opportunity to speak for her child.
-She'll just blubber her head off. -Well, she has the right to do that.
What if you die and she hasn't had a chance to speak for you?
Don't you think it'll eat at her, wondering if she could've saved you?
l'll think about it, but l got my pride.
l won't kiss ass in front of these people. l won't kiss nobody's ass.
-What are you making, Kenitra? -An Easter card for Mama.
-What's that? -Easter Bunny going down a chimney.
Mrs. Poncelet, please.
Don't live here.
Who is it?
My name is Sister Helen Prejean. l know your son Matthew.
-You sure you're a Sister? -Yes.
-You're not from the TV? -No.
How do you know Mattie?
l met him on death row.
Well, you never know who's at your front door.
So, what do you want? Mattie send you for money, for cigarettes?
So, what do you want?
You know they set the date for Matthew's execution.
Prison called, said if it goes down, do l got death insurance?
Ha! What a laugh.
l ain't even got food money.
His pardon board hearing is this Wednesday...
...and his lawyer thinks it'd be a good idea if you were there.
What does Mattie think?
He wants to protect you.
Well, it's a little late for that.
That show Inside Crime did a thing on Mattie...
...and told how l tried to help him and everything.
A regular Ma Barker or something.
Now l'm famous.
Yesterday, l was in the store...
...and l see these two ladies eyeing me.
When l get closer, l hear one of them say:
''l just can't wait to hear that they have executed that monster...
My boys are having a real hard time at school.
Kids picking on them.
Beating them up, calling them names.
Someone put a dead squirrel inside my little Troy's locker.
Poor boy came home crying.
What did he ever do to anyone?
Just keep trying to figure out what l done wrong.
Life's plowed them over. He started getting in trouble when he was 1 5.
-Every kid does when he's 1 5. -His dad was never around.
Most of your kids in the projects are raised by single parents.
They're not raping and killing. You're being suckered.
There you go again, Louie.
What about the parents of these victims?
-Are you seeing and counseling them? -You think they'd talk to me?
Aren't there people in your neighborhood that need help?
Yes, Mom. l'm still working with them.
Why visit murderers? They're at the end of the line.
For all the energy and resources you're putting into them...
...you could be keeping other kids from going to prison.
Mama's friends, the Pierres, read an article...
...which mentioned your name with Poncelet.
My name was in the paper?
lt has nothing to do with that. l am just curious.
Helen, what has drawn you to this?
Mama, l don't know.
l feel caught more than drawn.
The man's in trouble and, for some reason, l'm the only one he trusts.
Your heart's in the right place...
...but a full heart shouldn't follow an empty head.
Or an empty stomach.
As a child you always brought home strays.
lf we'd taken in all those dogs and cats, we couldn't have fed the family.
Your heart is large.
Just take care that others don't take advantage of it.
l'd hate to see that.
All right, Mama.
My daddy took me to a bar when l was 1 2...
...and told me to pick my whiskey.
There was all these bottles behind the bar and l said:
''l'll take that one with the pretty turkey on it.''
The guys in the bar laughed their butts off.
We got drunk as coots that night.
My daddy was a good man. Sharecropper, hard worker.
That's the one thing l got from him: working hands.
-How old were you when he died? -1 4.
Why's you a nun?
l was drawn to it, l guess.
That's a hard question to answer. lt's like asking why you're a convict.
-Bad luck. -Good luck, then.
l had a loving family, a lot of support.
l guess l felt obliged to give some of it back.
Don't you miss having a man?
Don't you want to get married, fall in love, have sex?
You don't want to talk about it?
Well, l have close friends, men and women.
l haven't experienced sexual intimacy, but there's other ways of being close.
You sharing your dreams, your thoughts, your feelings.
That's being intimate too.
We got intimacy right now, don't we, Sister?
l went to see your mother.
She said she'd appear at the pardon board hearing...
...if you want her to.
l like being alone with you.
You're looking real good to me.
Look at you.
Death is breathing down your neck...
...and you're playing your little-man-on-the-make games.
l'm not here for your amusement, Matthew. Show some respect.
Why? Because you're a nun and you wear a little cross?
Because l'm a person. Every person deserves respect.
What's the answer? What'll it be with your mama?
Mattie had a hard life...
...but he was a good boy.
When he was 6, he--
Ladies and gentlemen, let's be honest.
You're not gonna find many rich people on death row.
Matthew Poncelet's here today because he's poor.
Didn't have money so he had to take what the State gave him.
He got a tax lawyer who'd never tried a capital case before.
The jury selection took four hours. The trial lasted five days.
The lawyer raised one objection the entire trial.
Now, if Matthew had himself some money...
...well, he could've hired a team of crackerjack lawyers...
...and they would have hired top-notch investigators, a ballistics expert...
...a psychologist to compile profiles of desirable jurors.
And you can be sure...
...Matthew Poncelet wouldn't be sitting here today before you...
...asking for his life.
The death penalty.
lt's nothing new, been with us for centuries.
We've buried people alive, lopped off their heads...
...burned them alive in public, gruesome spectacles.
l wanted them to see these pictures.
In this century, we kept searching for more and more humane ways...
...of killing people we didn't like.
We've shot them with firing squads, suffocated them in gas chambers.
Now we have developed a device...
...that is the most humane of all:
We strap the guy up. We anesthetize him with shot number one.
Then we give him shot number two which implodes his lungs.
And shot number three stops his heart.
We put him to death just like an old horse.
His face just goes to sleep...
...while inside, his organs are going through Armageddon.
His facial muscles would contort, but shot number one relaxes those muscles.
So we don't have to see any horror show.
We don't have to taste the blood of revenge...
...while this human being's organs writhe, twist, contort.
We just sit there quietly, nod our heads and say:
''Justice has been done.''
lt has been six years since the brutal and reprehensible murders...
...of Hope Percy and Walter Delacroix.
And justice is long past due.
Matt Poncelet has had a lengthy, thorough court review.
Both a trial and a retrial for sentencing...
...as well as many appeals to state and federal courts...
...and successive petitions filed by Mr. Barber.
There's been no doubt in the court's mind about who did the murder.
Matthew Poncelet is not a good boy. He is a heartless killer.
These murders were calculated, disgusting and cruel.
This man shot Walter Delacroix two times in the back of his head.
And raped Hope Percy and stabbed her 1 7 times...
...before shooting this sweet girl two times in the back of the head.
...will never see their children graduate from college.
They will never attend their wedding.
They will never have Christmas with them again.
There will be no grandchildren.
All they ask of you is simple justice for their unbearable loss.
l ask you to take a breath...
...steel your spine...
...and proceed with the execution of Matthew Poncelet.
lt's always a good sign when you have to wait.
-l don't know if we made any headway. -l thought you did great.
lt'd be best if they realized their culpability in the death of a man.
-Hilton. -Excuse me, Sister.
l'm Walter Delacroix's father.
-Mr. Delacroix, l'm sorry about-- -Sister, l'm a Catholic.
How can you sit by Poncelet's side without ever having come to visit...
...with me and my wife or the Percys to hear our side?
How can you spend all your time worrying about Poncelet...
...and not think that maybe we needed you too?
Mr. Delacroix, l didn't think that you wanted to talk to me.
Earl, we're going in.
This is Mary Beth and Clyde Percy.
-l'm sorry about your daughter. -Yeah, so are we. Excuse us.
...l'm sure you've seen a side of Matt Poncelet that none of us has seen.
l'm sure he's on his best behavior, must be pretty sympathetic to you.
But, Sister, this is an evil man.
This is a man who abducted teenage kids and raped...
...and killed them.
That scum robbed me of my only son.
My name.... My family name dies with me.
There will be no more Delacroixs, Sister. No more.
l want you to know l do care about you and your family...
...and what happened to your son.
l'm gonna give you my number...
...and if there's anything that you need, you just call me.
Me call you?
Think about that, Sister. Think about how arrogant that is.
You all right?
We better be getting on in.
lt is the finding of this board that clemency...
...be denied to Matthew Poncelet.
Execution will be carried out as scheduled one week hence.
Don't give up hope, Matt.
We got a judge in the Federal Court that can put a stop to this.
Beyond that there's the Supreme Court and the governor.
l'll get a private meeting with him if it's the last thing l do.
Looks like you're all l got.
l can have a spiritual adviser of my choice. Will you do it?
Ride along into the sunset with me.
You'll have to spend several hours with him every day as his death nears.
Then on the day of his execution, you'll have to spend all day with him.
lt's not an easy job.
Usually, it's done by a chaplain or a priest or a Moslem cleric.
l want you to be realistic about this.
We've got about a one in one thousand chance things might go our way.
lt's a tough road.
lf that had been a king, you could go back over, right?
You can jump three this way then go all the way back.
She got that big old bad joker and won't put it down. That's a shame.
My turn. My turn.
l got an ace. l'm really lucky.
-Whose was this? -Mine.
Don't kill him. He's a child of God.
He's reformed. He's a poet. Blah, blah, blah.
Attention all ye folks, ye advocates of killers and child molesters.
Ye opponents of execution.
Ye cannot walk upon the high ground.
Ye do not have the moral authority to walk there.
Ye traverse with scum and scum is where--
-What do you want? -Forgive me for intruding...
...but l haven't been able to get you and your wife out of my mind.
l've been trying to call you, but there's been no answer.
Can l please speak with you?
l'm really sorry for not coming to visit with you before this...
...but l've never been involved in anything like this before.
Truth is you're scared.
l'd be too.
-Come in. -Thank you.
...can l ask you a question?
-Are you a communist? -Communist? No.
l didn't think so. That's what people around here say...
...with you defending this murderer, but l didn't think so.
-Sit down. -Thank you.
-Care for some coffee? -Thank you.
l'm sorry about the mess.
My wife and l had a big fight.
We got back from the pardon board hearing.
She took Walter's clothes out of his closet, put them in boxes...
She says she wants to put the past behind her.
She says she has to move on in her life.
She's not herself.
That must be so hard.
When it first happened, she had me bring her...
...to Walter's grave every morning.
She wept a river, poor woman.
Whole days, nights, for weeks, months.
l wish there was some way...
...some key into the past to change it.
lt tears me up.
She used to be a ball.
We would have us some fun.
Laugh our heads off.
Walter learned to walk on this floor right here.
He busted his chin on the arm of that sofa right there.
And that love seat right there...
...he sat with Hope...
...a week before they died.
When you lose a child...
...all the memories get sealed in a place.
...like a shrine.
So you've put in a request...
...to be the spiritual adviser to Matthew Poncelet.
-Yes, Father. -Why?
He asked me.
-This is highly unusual. -Why?
-You'd be the first woman to do it. -Really?
This kind of situation requires an experienced hand.
This boy is to be executed in six days and is in dire need of redemption.
Are you up to this?
l don't know, Father. l hope so. l've been praying for guidance.
You can save this boy...
...by getting him to receive the sacraments before he dies.
This is your job.
Nothing more, nothing less.
lf you need any help, please feel free to call on me.
Thank you, Father.
l don't want to be buried here.
They're gonna call my mama, ask about the funeral arrangements.
Could you do it? My mama'd fall apart.
l'll do it.
Do you ever read the Bible?
l ain't much of a Bible reader, but l pick it up from time to time.
-Like W.C. Fields read his Bible. -Who?
W.C. Fields. He used to play this drunken character in the movies.
He's dying and a friend comes and sees him reading the Bible.
The friend says, ''W.C., you don't believe in God.
Why are you reading the Bible?''
And Fields says, ''l'm looking for a loophole.''
l ain't looking for no loophole.
Rain, rain, rain.
That's a bad sign. They already executed one black, Tobias.
Wayne Purcell tonight. That's two blacks.
Time for a white.
The governor's under pressure to get a white. And that's me!
Nigger on the gurney before me. l hope they clean it before me.
-Was your daddy a racist? -What kind of question is that?
-l wonder who taught you to hate. -l don't like niggers.
Have you known any blacks?
-They was all around-- -All around?
Lived around me.
-Did you ever play with a black child? -No.
-Me and my cousin got jumped once. -What happened?
We was throwing rocks at them. The next day, they tear our bikes up.
-Can you blame them? -No. But, look, slavery's long over.
They're harping on the bad deal they got.
-The kids? -All of them.
l hate people who make themselves out as victims.
-Victims? -Yeah, they all victims.
l don't know any victims. l know some cool people, hard-working.
l know a lot of lazy, welfare-taking coloreds sucking up tax dollars.
-You sound like a politician. -What's that mean?
-Ever been the object of prejudice? -No.
What do people think about inmates on death row?
-Why don't you tell me? -They're monsters.
Disposable waste, good-for-nothings sucking up tax dollars.
l ain't no victim. l'm innocent.
l ain't whining. l ain't sitting on a porch going ''slavery, slavery.''
l like rebels, some blacks.
Martin Luther King led people to D.C., kicked the white man's butt.
-You respect Martin Luther King. -He put up a fight, wasn't lazy.
-Lazy whites? -Don't like them.
-So it's lazy people you don't like. -Can we talk about something else?
Jesus also said, ''He who lives by the sword shall die by the sword.''
Purcell had it coming! He had it coming!
Nine, eight, seven...
...six, five, four...
...three, two, one.
lt's the only way we can be sure that they will not kill again.
Life without parole? Oh, sure.
How many prison guards do they have to kill before it's over?
These people are mad dogs. Maniacs.
Come on. Let's go.
lf the governor and the courts turn us down...
...Matt's gonna be dead in six days.
We gotta get us a funeral home and someplace to bury him.
Maybe our sisters will donate one of their burial plots.
Somebody to do the burial service. Clothes.
l guess a suit.
What size suit do you think he wears?
l don't know.
How tall is he?
l don't know. l think he's kind of big.
What size is kind of big?
Does it run like big, medium and petite?
Well, l don't know. l never bought a man's suit before.
Won't you be a pretty sight?
A nun shopping for a man's suit.
l'm out of my league.
This is so surreal.
Hope had just graduated from high school in early May.
She was to join the Air Force on June 1 5th.
That's the day it happened.
She almost got out of Slidell.
She was hoping to get stationed overseas.
She liked to travel...
...and loved being around people of different cultures.
On June 1 5th, a recruiting sergeant was to meet Hope in Slidell...
...and drive her to Baton Rouge for induction.
The day before, l took her shopping for things she'd need...
...you know, just practical things.
That evening at 5:00 she dressed...
...and went to work at Corey's where she waitressed.
After work, she had a date with Walter.
She was about to leave....
The hem of her skirt was coming out.
She was in such a hurry.
I pinned it for her with one of those tiny safety pins.
She was gone out the door.
You don't know when you see your child leave...
... that you're never gonna see them alive again.
lf l'd known that...
...l would have told her how much l love her.
You know, my last words to her...
...the last that she ever heard from me...
...were about the hem of her skirt.
Next morning we waited for her to come out.
This was Hope's big day.
Our baby was leaving home.
Her room was empty...
...and the bed was still neatly made.
So l telephoned the Delacroixs and....
Our hearts sank when the Delacroixs told us...
...that Walter hadn't come home that night too.
And then for one brief moment we thought...
...maybe they'd run off and gotten married.
But we knew that she was just too sensible to do something like that.
l went down to the police and filled out a missing person's form.
Three days later the sheriff formed a search party.
I went along with them.
They were gone all day. They walked for miles and nothing.
On Thursday, June 20th...
...some kids were out near Flank's Cove...
...and they found a purse and some clothing and a wallet.
They turned them in to the police.
They found the kids' bodies on Friday...
...six days after they'd gone missing.
My daughter's body was nude...
Coroner's report said that her vagina was all tore up.
At first they couldn't find this class pin she was wearing...
...because it was embedded so deep, from the stabbing.
She loved that pin.
She was so proud of it, and she wore it all the time.
lt said, ''Class of '88 making a difference.''
The police wouldn't let us go down to the morgue and identify the body.
They said it would be too traumatic.
But l just couldn't...
...bear the thought of them burying that body...
...without making absolutely and positively sure that that was Hope.
l called my brother, he's a dentist.
l asked him to go to the funeral home...
...and make an l.D. from dental records.
Before he'd stuck his hand into that bag...
...with all that lime in it and fished Hope's jaw out...
...he'd been against the death penalty.
And after that, he was all for it.
l knew it had to be Hope.
That's what my mind told me, you know, but l just, l had to be sure.
-This is Sister Helen Prejean. -Hello.
-Nice to meet you, Emily. -Okay.
Let's go in the kitchen. l'll make us some coffee.
I met Poncelet face to face in the hallway during the trial.
l ain't gonna get no chair, Daddy.
You're gonna fry, and l'm gonna watch you sizzle.
There was a sheriff standing pretty close by me.
I could have grabbed his gun and shot Poncelet right then and there.
l could've killed him on that day, and l wished l would have.
l'd be a happier man today.
So, what made you change your mind?
Change my mind?
What made you come around to our side?
l wanted to come and see if l could help y'all and pray with you.
But he asked me to be his spiritual adviser, to be with him when he dies.
And what did you say?
That l would.
We thought you'd changed your mind.
We thought that's why you were here.
-How can you come here? -How can you do that?
How can you sit with that scum?
Mr. Percy, l've never done this before.
l'm trying to follow the example of Jesus...
...who said that every person is worth...
...more than their worst act.
This is not a person. This is an animal.
No, l take that back. Animals don't rape and murder their own kind!
Matthew Poncelet is God's mistake.
And you want to hold the poor murderer's hand?
You want to comfort him when he dies?
There wasn't anybody in the woods to comfort Hope...
...when those two animals pushed her face into the grass!
l just want to help him take responsibility for what he did.
Does he admit to what he did? ls he sorry?
He says he didn't kill anybody.
You're in waters way over your head.
You don't know what it's like to carry a child...
...and give birth and get up with a sick child in the middle of the night.
You pray and get a good night's sleep.
My parents raised me to respect the religious.
Sister, you need to leave this house right now.
Wait a minute!
lf you really are sorry...
...and do care about this family...
...you'll want to see justice done for our murdered child!
Now, you can't have it both ways!
You can't befriend that murderer and expect to be our friend too.
You brought the enemy into this house, Sister. You gotta go.
I come from a good family. My family can't be blamed.
I had two families. Both of them I'd love and die for.
-Your other family is... ? -The family of man. Of men in prison.
My white family, the Aryan Brotherhood.
You're a white supremacist? A follower of Hitler?
He was a leader. I admire him for getting things done.
Like Castro, he got things done.
Hitler might have gone overboard on the killing...
...but he was on the right track.
The right track? The murder of 6 million Jews?
What am l doing with this guy? l must be nuts.
-Hello? -Sister? It's Hilton Barber.
We need you for a strategy meeting.
''ln an interview with the Times...
...Poncelet says that if he had to do it again...
...he'd do something useful like join a terrorist group...
...and bomb government buildings.''
We must get him off this political prisoner kick.
Henry, how close are we on the Supreme Court docket?
-ln a couple of days. -We don't have a couple of days!
-We don't have the legal staff. -You had it for three days.
-Where were you yesterday? -l had to take my kid to the dentist.
A man is gonna die on death row and--
Yeah, well, my kid needed to hold her daddy's hand.
lf you don't like it, find another lawyer to volunteer his time.
DC Sniper 23 Days of Fear
D A R Y L 1985
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