Dead Man Walking Summary

Topics: Death Penalty, Helen Prejean, Dead Man Walking Pages: 2 (346 words) Published: November 27, 2012

Matthew Poncelet is sentenced to death for the murder of Walter Delacroix and Hope Percy. He has been closely followed by Sister Helen Prejean who is strongly against capital punishment, and today, we are to follow him for his last day.

15:00: He meets his family for the last time, and he talks with them like nothing has ever happened. They laugh together and talk about everyday things, but they are also looking back on the past. It’s humbling to see a man who will be dead in a few hours talking with his family without showing signs of anger.

“Some people are asking about your funeral ...and I get real angry and I say, He's not dead yet,” he’s mother says. The mood dampens, and you can feel the emptiness in the room. The only sound left to hear is the squeaking from Troy’s shoes.

Its 18:45 and the prison guards tell Matthew’s family to leave. They give him he’s possessions which he tells him family to take, except for his boots – he wants’ to die with them.

It is hours before he is going to be killed, and he eats his last meal like it didn’t matter. “I’ve never had shrimps before,” he says, shoveling them down. Moments before his death, he finally shows how he regrets, for the first time.


He is lead to the execution chamber by several police guards. “Dead man walking!” one of them says. They wouldn’t let him wear his boots, and it was clearly humiliating for him to have to walk to his own death in that way. They tie him to the chair, and insert the needle.

He tells the parents of his victims that he regrets what he has done. He asks for forgiveness. They watch him with a cold and still face, showing no reactions to his words. And finally, the last words:

“I just wanna say I think killin’ is wrong, no matter who does it, whether it’s me or y’all or your government.”
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