The founder of Centurion Ministries, which seeks to free wrongly convicted prisoners, reflects on his winding professional journey: As a 37-year-old Vietnam veteran and unsatisfied businessman, McCloskey enrolled in 1980 at Princeton Theological Seminary and became chaplain at Trenton State Prison; there he met Jorge de los Santos, the first of 63 innocent convicts McCloskey helped exonerate. Bestselling crime writer John Grisham writes the forward.
... a riveting and infuriating examination of criminal prosecutions, revealing how easy it is to convict the wrong person and how nearly impossible it is to undo the error. It upends our naive and complacent view of prosecutions—or at least White views, since minorities have long had no such illusions ... By the end of his book, he has laid down story after story, layer after layer, until one comes to the settled conclusion that the foundation of our criminal justice system is deeply flawed ... The book is full of drama and hope—hope, honestly, I do not fully share. While some progressive prosecutors have been elected recently, the fundamental flaws that define our system remain: racism, tunnel vision, a rush to prosecute the easiest suspect, coverups of mistakes ... we need many more Jim McCloskeys and his counterparts at Centurion, and a return to the past.
Though generally broaching serious subjects, the writers are able to bring levity at appropriate moments, reflecting McCloskey's overall philosophy of hope ... McCloskey and Lerman's natural storytelling style make this an enjoyable read even when addressing tough subjects. This will be essential for collections focused on social justice, the wrongly convicted, and spiritual transformation.
A heartfelt and heart-rending story ... eye-opening, sometimes inspiring reading ... The author’s writing is conversational, forthright, and brusque, and his subject matter is humane, uncomfortable, and often raw ... Compassionate tales from a dedicated warrior for justice.