When I became a nun, I never imagined that I would spend a great deal of my life ministering to and working with death row inmates. Working with death row inmates and writing about it in my book “Dead Man Walking” (which later became a movie) changed my life, and I’ve been working with death row inmates ever since.
I’m writing to you today about one such inmate, Max Soffar, an innocent man who desperately needs our help.
Max has been on death row for 34 years for a crime he didn’t commit. When he was only 24, police convinced Max to sign a false confession after three days of aggressive, unrecorded interrogation. To this day, there is not one shred of evidence besides that false confession tying Max to the crime for which he’s been in prison for more than three decades. In fact, the evidence that does exist points to another man.
Now Max has another death sentence: he’s dying of liver cancer. I’m fighting to allow this innocent man to die at home with his wife instead of alone in a cage. Please click here to sign my petition.
Max is in solitary confinement on death row. He never has human contact except for the doctors who treat his cancer and the guards who put him in shackles. When he is allowed to see his wife, she is behind glass, and he sits on a metal stool struggling to find a position that doesn’t cause him pain. Max says that solitary confinement “is like torture, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
Max Soffar is going to die, and soon. That fact is not in dispute. The only question is whether the state of Texas will force an innocent man to die alone behind bars, or whether Max will be allowed to die at home, with his family, with the love we all deserve.
We have already convinced the former governor of Texas, Mark White, to join our fight: he believes in Max’s innocence and has written to current governor Rick Perry in support of Max being released to die at home with his loved ones. I know that with your help, we can convince Governor Perry to show Max the compassion he deserves.
Click here to sign my petition to allow an innocent man to spend his last days at home with his family.
From the heart, Sister Helen Prejean