Matthew Poncelet
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Matthew Poncelet

Dead Man Walking

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About Him

Living... on death row for the murder and rape of two teenagers. No one in his family has made the trip out there. They say it’s too long of a drive from Slidell.

Profession… inmate. Matthew has been in prison for six years and is scheduled to be executed soon by lethal injection. Without anyone else to turn to, Matthew reached out to a nun named Sister Prejean to help him appeal his case.

Interests... making racist comments, trash talking, and finding trouble. But he has found a new interest on death row – reading the Bible. He only has three days left before his scheduled execution, so he figures it couldn't hurt. Sister Prejean, who is trying to help him get a fair trail and acting as his spiritual advisor, is teaching him about forgiveness and God. After all, Matthew may be meeting Him soon.

Challenge... dealing with the fact that death is breathing down his neck. He has asked Sister Prejean to help him get a stay of execution because he can’t afford a lawyer. As he says, “Ain't nobody with money on death row.” Matthew claims that he doesn’t deserve to be executed because he didn’t pull the trigger, but he is running out of time to make his case. He feels desperate and afraid.

Personality... arrogant, bigoted, and cruel. People consider Matthew an animal – especially for the terrible crime he committed. But Helen is able to see a side of Matthew that gives her hope that he can be redeemed. No one is more surprised than Matthew himself.

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