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George Vlahakis

Last modified: Thursday, September 26, 2002

IU Bloomington community to examine death penalty issues Oct. 11-18

Includes forum featuring author of "Dead Man Walking"

EDITORS: Media covering the Union Board event may also contact Scott Dittmer at Union Board for assistance, phone 812-855-4682.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Several schools, programs and departments at Indiana University Bloomington have worked with community organizations to create an interdisciplinary series of events on death penalty issues for the week of Oct. 11-18.

The series, "Two Views: An Engagement of the Community on the Death Penalty," will examine opposing views on the controversial issue, including the use of artwork, film, music and forums to explore the feelings and emotions behind it.

Sister Helen Prejean, author of the book Dead Man Walking, will participate in one of the events, a forum with Tom Perkins of the Indiana Attorney General's Office on Oct. 15. Bloomington Chancellor Sharon Stephens Brehm will moderate the discussion, which will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the IU Auditorium.

Free general admission tickets for this program are available for IU Bloomington students with a valid ID and will be available to the general public beginning Monday (Sept. 30). They can be picked up at the IU Auditorium and the Activities Desk on the first floor of the Indiana Memorial Union.

Sponsors of the series include the Poynter Center for the Study of Ethics and American Institutions, Union Board, the IU School of Law-Bloomington, the IU College of Arts and Sciences, the IU Department of Criminal Justice, Horizons of Knowledge, Bloomington Coalition Against the Death Penalty, the IU School of Fine Arts Gallery, the Center for University Ministry, and United Campus Ministries. Community sponsors are WFHB, the Runcible Spoon and the Unitarian Universalist Church.

The Two Views series will begin Oct. 11 with the opening of an exhibition at the School of Fine Arts Gallery, "The Omega Suites," featuring photographs by Lucinda Devlin. There will be an artist's lecture at 5:30 p.m. in Fine Arts 102, with a reception to follow in the gallery.

On Oct. 13, there will be two free screenings of the film based on Prejean's book, Dead Man Walking, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. in Whittenberger Auditorium in the Indiana Memorial Union. An open-microphone night will be held Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. in the Runcible Spoon, 412 E. Sixth St.

On Oct. 16, a panel of faculty members and students from the IU School of Law will discuss, "Is the Death Penalty System Broken?" Questions and comments from the audience will be welcomed at the program, which will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Moot Court Room (Room 123) of the IU School of Law.

On Oct. 17 at 7:30 p.m., Doug Sloan will give a presentation, "A Murder Victim's Family Member Speaks." This will be followed by "Faith Speaks on the Death Penalty," a panel presentation by members of the Bloomington Faith Community. Both events will take place at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 2120 N. Fee Lane.

The week's events will conclude on Oct. 18 with "Celebration of Life" at Harmony School, 909 E. Second St. It will feature music and dance with Afro Hoosiers International and Transformation Dancers, beginning at 7 p.m.

Other parallel events will include an exhibit in the Lincoln Room of the Lilly Library, "Execution and Capital Punishment in Victorian England." Local bookstores and libraries also will have displays on related themes.

Additional information is available at a Web site,