Robert Lee Willie

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Louisiana State Penitentiary, where Willie was confined and executed

Robert Lee Willie (died December 28, 1984) was a convict on Death Row at Louisiana State Penitentiary. Sister Helen Prejean, one of the sisters of St Joseph of Medailles, served as his spiritual adviser. Willie was executed in the electric chair for the May 28, 1980 kidnap, rape, and murder of 18 year old Faith Hathaway of Mandeville, LA at Frickes Cave, a borrow pit, just South of Franklinton, LA.

Sister Prejean based her book Dead Man Walking on her encounters with him and Elmo Patrick Sonnier. The two convicts also inspired the character Matthew Poncelet, played by Sean Penn, in the film Dead Man Walking. In the movie, Poncelet is sentenced to death for the murder of a young couple about 18, of which the woman was named Hope (a synonym of "Faith", as in Faith Hathaway).

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